Pope on Lebanon blast anniversary: Truth can never be hidden

August 3, 2022 GMT
Pope Francis makes the sign of the cross during the weekly general audience at the Vatican, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Francis makes the sign of the cross during the weekly general audience at the Vatican, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Francis makes the sign of the cross during the weekly general audience at the Vatican, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
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Pope Francis makes the sign of the cross during the weekly general audience at the Vatican, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
1 of 10
Pope Francis makes the sign of the cross during the weekly general audience at the Vatican, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis marked the second anniversary of the Lebanon port explosion by insisting Wednesday that truth and justice “can never be hidden,” in an apparent reference to the stalled investigation into the disaster.

Francis made the comments at the end of his weekly general audience, the first after his monthlong summer break.

Recalling the upcoming anniversary, Francis said he was praying for the families of the victims “of that disastrous event and the dear Lebanese people.”

“I pray that each one may be consoled by faith, and comforted by justice and truth that can never be hidden,” he said.

The Aug. 4, 2020, detonation of ammonium nitrate at the port was one of the world’s biggest non-nuclear blasts. It killed at least 215 people, injured more than 6,000 and sent pressure waves across the capital. The investigation into the disaster has been blocked for months by Lebanese political powers, who have ensured that no one has to date been held accountable. Many Lebanese blame the government’s longtime corruption and mismanagement for the tragedy.

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Francis prayed for Lebanon to be reborn and remain true to its “vocation as a land of peace and pluralism where different religious communities can live in fraternity.”

Francis, 85, had been planning to travel to Lebanon this past spring, but strained knee ligaments forced him to postpone the trip. No new date has been set.