ASIA/LEBANON - Maronite bishops: Lebanon risks being reduced to a "battlefield" for the wars of others

Thursday, 3 February 2022 middle east   oriental churches   area crisis   geopolitics   armed conflicts   diplomacy   holy see   pope francis  

Bkerké (Agenzia Fides) - Lebanon must be saved from the danger of transforming itself into a Middle Eastern platform used by regional and global powers to conduct their proxy wars, the "proxy wars" fought on the ground of a third country and passed off as "internal conflicts" of that nation. This is the most disturbing alarm launched by the Maronite Bishops who met on Wednesday, February 2 at the patriarchal see of Bkerké, on the occasion of their monthly assembly. The meeting, chaired by Maronite Patriarch Béchara Boutros Raï, saw the extraordinary participation of Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States of the Vatican Secretariat of State, currently engaged in an official visit to the Land of the Cedars. In the final communiqué of the meeting, divided into eight points, the Maronite bishops emphasized that the visit of the high Vatican representative, sent by Pope Francis, also expresses the Pontiff's closeness to the Lebanese people, and manifests at the international level his concern for the present and the future of Lebanon.
In the other points of the document released at the end of the meeting, the Maronite Bishops review the many knots of the current Lebanese crisis., The synod of Maronite bishops hopes that the Lebanese government and the International Monetary Fund will soon reach an agreement to allow rapid access to the international financial lines of credit essential to counter the fearful economic crisis that is devastating the Country. The bishops also warn against any political maneuver aimed at sabotaging the deadlines of the next legislative and presidential elections in one way or another. Particular concern is expressed by the bishops regarding the crisis affecting the entire school sector, recognized as "one of the pillars" of the country’s well-being and human development. The urgency of removing Lebanon from the risk of becoming a battlefield for clashes between global and regional powers clashing in the Middle East is recalled by referring in particular to the ongoing diplomatic crisis between Lebanon and the Gulf monarchies, a crisis exploded after a Lebanese minister had indicated some Gulf countries as responsible for the bloody conflict in Yemen. The Maronite Bishops reiterate that the choice of neutrality represents the only wise and convenient option for the Land of the Cedars. Referring then to the upcoming feast of St. Marone, which is celebrated on February 9, the Maronite Bishops invoke him and ask that through his intercession may the Lebanese people and in particular the politicians be guided by the Almighty God on the paths of repentance and conversion. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 3/2/2022)

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