Bkerké (Agenzia Fides) - The Maronite Bishops "take note" of the political initiative announced by President Michel Aoun to take budgetary control measures to combat corruption in Lebanese public institutions. At the same time, they underline the urgency of voting on such measures in parliament and swiftly enacting the legal provisions required to implement anti-corruption measures.
The Maronite Bishops launched their appeal at the end of their monthly meeting on Wednesday December 2nd in Bkerké, under the direction of Patriarch Cardinal Béchara Boutros Raï.
Recently an audit (evaluation procedure) on the functioning and accounting transparency of the Bank of Lebanon, entrusted to Alvarez & Marsal was hampered by the bank's refusal to provide the documents required for the valuation process. "Bank secrecy" was cited as the reason for this. After this episode, President Aoun asked the Parliament to ensure the implementation of the assessment procedures for the Central Bank of Lebanon and all administrations, institutions and public funds.
In their communiqué, the Maronite Bishops also expressed their desire to join their voice to "that of the Lebanese people, dissatisfied with the repeated attempts to prevent the formation of a new government". Despite the stated support for a government of independent experts to begin the reform process necessary for the country, the formation of the new government has been going on for months and Prime Minister Saad Hariri has failed to form a new government.
At the meeting held in Bkérké, Patriarch Béchara Boutros Raï reported to the Maronite bishops a brief account of his last meeting with Pope Francis, which took place in the Vatican on Saturday 28 November. In the final communiqué of their meeting, the Maronite Bishops thanked Pope Francis for his closeness to Lebanon, which was expressed again after the catastrophic explosion in the port of Beirut on August 4th. During the papal audience - reports an official statement from the Maronite Patriarchate - the Lebanese Cardinal renewed the invitation addressed to Pope Francis to make a pastoral visit to Lebanon. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 3/12/2020)