ASIA/LEBANON - National holiday: Partriarch Raï reaffirms the country's neutrality concept

Monday, 23 November 2020 middle east   oriental churches   geopolitics   sectaniarism   confessionalism  

Patriarcato maronita

Bkerké (Agenzia Fides) - Lebanon's independence not only signifies the end of the French protectorate, but also marks "the country's exit from the politics of the axes, and the beginning of its neutrality". Even today, in the current political and social crisis, the country, the independence of Lebanon and its economy have grown in the course of history, in which the country has more and more decided in favor of neutrality. While it has always had a negative effect on the Lebanese people when the political elites aligned themselves with one or another of the global and regional axes of force that have opposed each other in the Middle East for decades.
With this renewed appeal to reaffirm "Lebanese neutrality", Maronite Patriarch Béchara Boutros Raï in his Sunday homily celebrated at the patriarchal see of Bkerké, offered his authoritative contribution to the celebrations for the 77th anniversary of the proclamation of Lebanese independence . The national holiday took place this year without military parades and public events due to the measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Lebanon has been without a government for more than three months after Prime Minister Hassan Diab resigned after the devastating explosions in the port of Beirut on August 4.
Negotiations on the formation of a new government have come to a standstill because of various vetoes by political parties and disagreements between the Prime Minister-designate, the Sunni Muslim Saad Hariri and the Christian Head of State over the mechanism for appointing ministers.
The paralysis of politics, due to party interests - added the Patriarch in his homily - has "increased corruption, hoarding and waste of public funds, leading the country to bankruptcy and collapse". This is a betrayal of the country's constitution, said the Lebanese Cardinal. The constitution had been drawn up in order to ensure interreligious coexistence, denominational understanding and equal participation in the administration of power between Christians and Muslims, whereas today the institutional structures present themselves as the exclusive representatives of the various denominational communities and on the basis of this abusive identification, with their vetoes, paralyze national public life with the aim of usurping power.
The reasons for affirming an "active neutrality" were also set out by Patriarch Raï in the "Memorandum for Lebanon", which was published in mid-August (see Fides 17/8/2020). (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 23/11/2020)