ASIA/LEBANON - Maronite and Greek-Melkite Synods have begun. Patriarch Grégoire: 60% of the Lebanese think of emigrating

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Beirut (Agenzia Fides) - "According to a recent survey, 60% of the Lebanese are considering the idea of emigrating, and 35% of them are actually waiting for a visa". This was reported yesterday by the Greek-Melkite Patriarch of Antioch, Grégoire III, during the opening speech of the annual assembly of the Synod of the Church. The meeting of the Greek-Melkite Bishops, underway at the patriarchal summer residence in Ain Trez, will discuss the theme of family and emergency situations experienced by communities in Syria. But in one part of his speech, the considerations of Patriarch Grègoire was extended to the chaos that affect all the Middle Eastern region and push the population to flee to other areas of the world.
Presenting the survey data cited, the Primate of the Greek-Melkite Church pointed out that among the potential Lebanese migrants the majority are Christians. "If this is the case for Lebanon - said the Patriarch in his speech, the text of which was sent to Agenzia Fides - what will happen in countries with less stability? It is necessary to operate in every way possible to try to stop this bleeding".
Also yesterday, the annual assembly of the Synod of the Maronite Church began at the patriarchal see of Bkerke, presided by the Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, Boutros Bechara Rai.
The Maronite synodal assembly includes challenging topics such as the status of religious courts and their service regarding marital crisis, theological teaching in ecclesiastical institutions, the work of the missions and the Maronite dioceses out of Lebanese territory, in the Diaspora. But the Patriarch, in his opening speech, also referred to the political paralysis which the nation is facing: "No authentic Lebanese - said the Patriarch among other things - can tolerate the vacancy of the presidential office, which has entered in its second year and increases the malfunction of constitutional institutions, poverty and lawlessness". The Maronite Bishops prayed to ask "the war to end, through diplomatic channels in Syria, Iraq, Yemen", and for peace to be re-established and consolidated in Holy Land and in all the Countries of the Middle East. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 16/06/2015)