Monthly Meeting of the Maronite Bishops, December 2011

On the 7th of December 2011 the Maronite Bishops held their monthly meeting in Bkerke which was presided over by His Beatitude the Patriarch Mar Beshara Peter Al Rahi, and the participation of His Beatitude Cardinal Mar Nasrallah Peter Sfeir, the vicars of the Patriarchate, the general superiors of the Maronite religious orders, and they discussed national matters as well as matters related to the church. At the end of the meeting they issued the following communiqué: 

1- The fathers welcomed the overcoming of the crisis of the financing of the Special tribunal for Lebanon which has waived the possibility of confrontation with the international community and a ruling crisis in Lebanon, and has dampened the threat of stability as many have cautioned. They look forward to the government to assume its responsibilities and to resolve pending issues, such as the appointments in public jobs and the issues of security, society and economy. 

2- The fathers support the right of populations to decide for their destiny and to decide for an appropriate ruling. As they look carefully to the big changes that are happening in the region, they are concerned about the degrading security in Syria and they fear a drift of the situation to more violence. They noted that supporting the causes of our brothers the Arabs does not mean transferring the division and tenseness to the Lebanese interior, but in the commitment to the Lebanese constitution and the preservation of the “Lebanese privacy”, the respect of multiplicity and acceptance of others, for Lebanon to remain an example of freedom, democracy and respect of human rights, a valid example to follow for his brothers the Arab countries in such critical moments. 

3- In spite of the positive improvement in the general situation and the great efforts deployed by the security forces, the Fathers can only express their worries with regards to what has been happening on the security level. The launching of rockets from the Lebanese border, the explosions, robberies, nasty crimes against innocents, all are worrying events as if Lebanon had no border or country privacy. They remind all responsible people on all levels that sovereignty does not accept partitioning, indulgence or compromise. 

4- The Fathers fear that the decrees issued with regards to the revoking of the Lebanese nationality from unworthy people to be an unfair and selective act increasing the gaps caused by the decree of naturalization of 1994, they alert the judicial and directing authorities to assume their full responsibilities in transparency and justice. 

5- On the other hand, the Fathers discussed the situation in the prisons and what has been happening there, and what was reported to them about the conduction of trials, and those who are arrested for months and years without trials. Isn’t it time for the government to have a clear policy to enforce justice, in addition to putting a general plan to restore the situation of the prisons? As prisons are not only meant for punishment but were first made as correctional places, and for the rehabilitation of prisoners to enable them to reintegrate society as good citizens. 

6- Social issues remain in the midst of interactions between opposing parties and benefits, which delays the settlement of various issues necessary to the citizens, such as the issues of salaries, the increase of prices, power and water supply and others, as if social policies in Lebanon are not driven by common good and the realization of social justice. The National economy is not founded on the good of man and his nobleness but is rather a business deal done between parties. 

7- The Fathers welcomed the new law remedying to the subject of the return of those exiled to Israel. They hope to have in place the implementation decrees as soon as possible, enabling the largest possible number of them to return to their villages and towns with dignity at the soonest. 

8- The Advent time in which we prepare ourselves for the coming of the everlasting Word teaches us, in the midst of what is happening in the world, that the Word of God through his incarnation among us revealed that history is not only just passing events, but is the throne of the Word, which only lives with it and through it. That is why they call all believers in the year of the Holy Bible to take as much as possible from the source of life coming from the Word which gives life to anyone who accepts it with faith, so that the church becomes alive with the Word and a witness for the glory of God and peace on earth.

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