On the First of February 2012 the maronite bishops held their monthly meeting in Bkerke which was presided over by his Beatitude the Patriarch Mar Bechara Peter Al Rahi and with the participation of his Eminence Cardinal Mar Nasrallah Peter Sfeir and the newly elected bishops as well as the vicars of the patriarchate and the superiors of the maronite orders. They studied national and church-related issues. At the end of their meeting they issued a communiqué.
|The Maronite Bishops Meeting in Bkerke|
They congratulated the new bishops: Michel Aoun, Mounir Khairallah and Elias Suleiman for being accepted in the communion of faith and love by Pope Benedict XVI and the episcopal body. They also thanked his holiness for his continuous care for the Churches as a shepherd for the universal church.
They welcomed the visit of the secretary general of the United Nation : Ban Ki Moon to Lebanon, his visit being an assurance that Lebanon with its variety of culture and religions constitutes an example of coexistence for the region on the basis of democracy.
The fathers were comforted by the issuance of the Azhar document: "Public Liberties" on the 10th of January 2012 which comes in a time of cautiousness and uncertainty in the region especially with regards to the liberty of worship, expression and belief. They rely on this orientation in the whole region to play a major role so that openness and acceptance of the other may prevail over oppression and desolation.
The fathers express their woriness about the evolution of the events in the region leading to the confrontation between international powers which may have negative implications on Lebanon. They invite all lebanese to national unity and sovereignty of the State and to the policy of positive neutrality, so that Lebanon may be the country of religious and cultural dialogue.
The fathers appreciate the efforts deployed by the political authority in dealing with complicated and vital matters, but they warn against the halting of the governance resulting from the rivality between political sides which is causing delays in settling many vital matters such as the appointments, the plan for economic and social growth, development projects such as power, water and energy as citizens endure joblessness and increasing poverty.
Last year has witnessed a decrease in the transfer of ownership of lands from lebanese to non lebanese, even though there has not been a proper application of the law, but the issue of land sales due to financial or social reasons is still worrying the fathers. They urge big land owners not to make of their lands a tradable commodity and they call for all lebanese to confirm their attachment to their land and to preserve it because it will guarantee their presence and the future of their children and it will save their identity, customs and dignity. They call on the wealthy to undertake development projects in the different areas and to help their fellow citizens to exploit their lands and live in dignity.
On the Occasion of the feast of our father Saint Maron on the 9th of February and the preparation for the holy lent, the fathers lift their eyes to the intercessor of the maronite church who has left a precious legacy and was an example of faith, prayer and righteousness with the spirit of penance and constant search for God, distancing himself from earthly problems to be closer to God in quietness and at the ame time closer to people and guiding them. They ask for his intercession, for the maronite church to remain a witness for sanctity, liberty, and union in love with God and the others.