ASIA/LEBANON - Patriarchs and Catholic Bishops: Lebanese increasingly poor, a government of national "reconciliation" is urgently needed

Tuesday, 15 November 2016 local churches   oriental churches   caritas

Beirut (Agenzia Fides) - In Lebanon, following the election of former general Michel Aoun to the office of President of the Republic, a government that can promote national reconciliation and the rapid drafting of an electoral law able to ensure adequate political representation to all the components of Lebanese society has to be carried out in a short space of time. This is the shared opinion on the Lebanese situation expressed by the Council of Patriarchs and Catholic Bishops in Lebanon who yesterday, Monday, November 14, held its 50th plenary session in Bkerké, at the Maronite Patriarchal see. The meeting, among others, was also attended by Greek-Melkite Patriarch Gregoire III, Syrian Catholic Patriarch Ignace Youssif III, Armenian Catholic Patriarch Krikor Bedros XX and Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Apostolic Nuncio in Lebanon.
In his speech, Maronite Patriarch Boutros Bechara Rai urged all the heads of Churches present to support the church organizations in their development projects and to meet the financial needs even from schools, hospitals, orphanages and hospices run by various Catholic communities. The Lebanese situation - said the Primate of the Maronite Church - is marked by the general impoverishment of large segments of the Lebanese population, and all ecclesial realities are called to increase their efforts in support of those who are in need.
Even Archbishop Gabriele Caccia intervened to express his congratulations on the recent election of former general Michel Aoun to the presidency of the Republic, and with regards to the emergence of Syrian refugees he recalled that a year ago, Pope Francis had invited all the parishes and convents to open their doors to the reception of refugees fleeing from conflicts and situations of violence. The Patriarchs and Bishops gathered in Bkerké also addressed the issue of implementation of Vatican directives on the sexual abuse of children and the adoption of rules on the use of resources managed by Caritas Lebanon. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 15/11/2016)