The Maronite Patriarch's Homily on Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Maronite Patriarch Mar Beshara Boutros Al Rahi criticized on Sunday the government’s “hesitation” in adhering to international legitimacy, especially regarding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

He said during his Sunday homily: “We warn against failing to respect international obligations and we hold the officials responsible for the dangerous repercussions that Lebanon and the Lebanese people would incur as a result of this failure.” He stressed that Lebanon is under a strict obligation to respect the special tribunal for Lebanon, justice, and the truth. Furthermore, the patriarch noted that Lebanon is one of the founding members of the United Nations and therefore it would be wrong to reject its resolutions and agreements.

The Maronite Patriarch was celebrating Sunday Mass for the memory of Myriam Al Ashkar, who was found dead tuesday in the woods, in the area located between the Keserwan towns of Sahel Alma and Harissa. Myriam, whose body was recovered after a day-long search and rescue operation by the army and internal security forces, was stabbed at least eight times in her chest and suffered other injuries. 

Myriam Al Ashkar was killed by Fathi Al Salateen the janitor of the 'Our Lady of the Annunciation' monastery in Baqloush, after that he attempted to rape her. Myriam was heading for the church to pray on Monday as she used to do several times every other week. Security forces arrested Al-Salateen, who is well-known in the town, where he had been residing over the last year and a half. The murderer who has confessed to the crime, is also suspected of having been a member in a Syrian intelligence unit in Lebanon and having quit his post several years ago.

Al Rahi has strongly condemned the murder and has asked religious institutions to avoid employing non-Christian foreign labor to prevent a repeat of such events. He said:“We ask officials of monasteries, religious Christian institutions, in a bid to preserve their sanctity, inviolability and message, not to entrust their protection to non-Christian foreigners or house them.”

The patriarch praised the security forces for uncovering the murderer, demanding that arms possession in Lebanon be controlled. “We ask security and judicial officials to protect Lebanese and to apply the most severe form of punishment upon the criminal,” Rahi said to the believers attending the Mass, which included Myriam’s family members and Interior Minister Marwan Charbel. He also asked the Internal Security Forces to be vigilant with regards to the security of citizens and protect them against any threats. The patriarch also asked unions and workers to implement necessary laws governing foreign labor, voicing appreciation for foreigners who are genuinely working in the country. 

After the Holy Mass the Patriarch received Myriam's mourning family members and he shared with them their grief and pain.

1 comment:

  1. Prayers for her eternal rest also for her family members. Lord have mercy. Amen+++