ASIA/LEBANON - The Maronite Bishops: The Country must remain neutral

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Dimane (Agenzia Fides) - Lebanon can avoid the many pitfalls that threaten its stability only if it remains out of the wars raging on its borders and maintain its "neutrality before the on-going conflicts at a regional and international level". The alarm for the fate of the Country of the cedars comes from the Council of Maronite Bishops who met on Wednesday, August 7th for their monthly meeting in Dimane, at the patriarchal summer seat. The bishops, under the presidency of Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai, also addressed a direct criticism to the two opposing national political blocs - that of "March 14" and that of '"March 8" - held responsible for the institutional paralysis that is making the Country sink into a more and more explosive social and economic crisis. "The bishops," reads the final statement, sent to Fides "express their concern and that of the Lebanese people before the political paralysis that affects the constitutional institutions because of the extreme vertical divisions of the political class, polarized into two opposite fronts, that each try to monopolize power and impose their point of view". A degeneration, that makes the formation of a "government: effective and capable of ensuring stability in the economic, social and security" more and more urgent and the reaching of an agreement on an electoral system that allows to resume the practice of democracy and renewal of the political elite through "an authentic representation of all the Lebanese parties on the basis of equality enshrined in the Constitution".
On the issue of Syrian refugees, the Maronite bishops repeat that solidarity with the refugees is a "national duty". From the Maronite bishops also came expressions of homage and solidarity with the regular Lebanese Armed Forces, recently attacked in the border areas with Syria. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 08/08/2013).