Bkerké (Agenzia Fides) – The Patriarchs and Bishops of the Churches present in Lebanon met in the early afternoon of yesterday, Tuesday, June 8th, in Bkerké, at the seat of the Maronite Patriarchate, to discuss the issues and problems to be placed at the center of the meeting convened in Rome on July 1st by Pope Francis in order to reflect together with the main leaders of the Lebanese Christian communities on the worrying situation in the country. The short inter-ecclesial summit, which took place at the invitation of Cardinal Béchara Boutros Raï, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, was attended, among others, by Syrian Catholic Patriarch Ignace Youssif III Younan, the Catholicos of Cilicia of the Apostolic Armenians Aram I, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Youssef Absi and the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch Yohanna X Yazigi.
As emerges from the summary reports published by the Maronite Patriarchate on social media, the participants in the deliberations reaffirmed the urgent need to form a new government and overcome the institutional paralysis in order to deal with the devastating effects of the economic and social crisis and unable to cope with the daily life of a large part of the population.
At the end of the meeting, those present prayed for peace in Lebanon and the Middle East and for the end of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The meeting convened by Pope Francis in the Vatican with the high representatives of the Lebanese Christian communities also attracted the attention of analysts and commentators in Lebanon who comment on the upcoming summit in the Lebanese media. Since the first announcement of the meeting in the Vatican (see Fides, 31/5/2021) local observers have been concerned with the question of whether the meeting desired by the Bishop of Rome will provide an opportunity for general reflections on the current situation, the state of the country in general and the Lebanese Christian communities or whether the summit's attention will only focus on certain points. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 9/6/2021)