ASIA/LEBANON - "Every time a Lebanese emigrates, we lose our battle". Patriarch Rai raises the alarm about migratory "haemorrhage"

Monday, 30 August 2021

Diman (Agenzia Fides) - Lebanon is currently in a war-like state and "every time a Lebanese citizen emigrates, we lose a new battle". With these haunting words, the Maronite Patriarch and Lebanese Cardinal Béchara Boutros Raï describes the worst catastrophe to take place in the land of the Cedars and warns of the silent migration that is robbing the country of its most precious human and spiritual wealth, starting with the young. In this sense he expressed himself during the homily of the Eucharistic celebration which he presided over on Sunday 29 August in Diman, in the church of the patriarchal summer residence. The country has long been in a crisis that many analysts consider insurmountable. Lebanon has been without a government for more than a year and is struggling with an economic and social stalemate with closed pharmacies, empty grocery stores and the long lines in front of empty gas stations. The Patriarch recalled that the most devastating effect of the crisis in the long term will be the emigration of Lebanese of all ethnic and religious communities, especially young people, to other countries. A haemorrhage that bleeds the nation to death and drains any potential impetus for a fresh start.
In his homily, in which he referred to the passage in the Gospel in which Jesus forgave the adulteress of her sins, the the Maronite Patriarch invited everyone to recognize that even the possible salvation of the Lebanese nation passes through paths of forgiveness that foster opportunities for reconciliation and coexistence between the different components of the country. "Lebanon", said Cardinal Raï, "needs reconciliation, above all between the political leaders, between them and the people and between them and politics". "Political activity", emphasized the Primate of the Maronite Church, "consists in the noble art of serving the common good", while in Lebanon the various political groups "deal with trivial questions of quotas and numbers while the people are abandoned in prey of hunger, poverty and humiliation".In this scenario, the Patriarch called for the formation of a "government of national salvation "that takes charge of the situation of the country and faces the centrifugal forces that threaten its dismemberment.
On July 26th of this year, the Lebanese President Michel Aoun entrusted the Sunni Najib Mikati with the formation of a new government after the previous "prime minister" Saad Hariri had resigned. Since then, internal disputes in Lebanese politics, as well as considerable international geopolitical interference, have prevented the formation of a new government. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 30/8/2021)