Monthly Communiqué of the Maronite Bishops on May 30, 2012

On May 30, 2012, their Excellencies the Maronite Bishops held at Bkerkeh their monthly meeting which was presided over by His Beatitude Bechara Peter Rai and with the participation of His Eminence Cardinal Nasrallah Butros Sfeir. They studied church and national matters. At the end of the meeting, they issued the following communiqué:

1. The Fathers congratulated His Beatitude for his return from his pastoral visit to the Maronite eparchies in Mexico, Canada and the USA. They appraised the effort His Beatitude is exerting to consolidate the Maronites, living abroad, in the faith, to prompt them to be attached to Lebanon and their homelands, sharing in the making of their future, and to register their marriage birth certificates in the personal statute offices, work of recovering their citizenship, link their children to their roots, exercise their right in the decision making and invest in it.

2. The Fathers express their total refusal of the attempts to drive Lebanon to a new war through the moving violence, political and confessional feuds. They confirm again that Lebanon needs all its citizens who together make it on the basis of unity, justice and the sharing in the one destiny without making one group prevail over the other. This is not truly achieved except by holding really, not only by words, to the common life and to the state institutions as the only option and sole reference to settle differences.

3. The Fathers look with anxiety at the economic and social situation which warns against a catastrophy with the rise of the public debit index, and the incapacity of the government to exert a sufficient intervention for the benefit of the citizen and public good. This deprives the citizen from many basic services and makes of him a prey for the lack of social justice. Before this fact, the fathers call for a national economic policy built upon bases more humane, more just and transparenty.

4. The Fathers warn against any division about the activity of the military institution and the security agencies. Meddling with their unity and role is a risk which presages a great danger upon its goal and the unity of defense and security of the State. They call upon politicians to keep them apart from the political game and not push them in the political struggle, or giving them a confessional color. This impairs their role and distorts their credibility before the citizens.

5. In this atmosphere, the Fathers appeal to the authorities and to all those who have an influencial role in the Lebanese situation, to respond to the national and humane voice of the conscience. Let them put the interest of the one Lebanon above all interests, preserve its honor and the dignity of its People before any other enticement and respond to the invitation of His Excellency the President of the Republic to the table of dialogue without conditions.

6. At the start of the Pentecost season and the end of the Marian month, the Fathers ask for the protection of the Virgin Mary, Lady of Lebanon, and call the Holy Spirit to support them in shepherding the Church, specially during their yearly retreat and holy synod (11-16 June 2012), asking all their sons and daughters to accompany them with prayer for the good of their Church and homeland.

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