Patriarch Rahi notes that ‘structures of sin’ are pushing Lebanon towards economic collapse

The patriarch criticised in particular the delay in implementing reforms required by the international community, "which is more concerned about Lebanon than its political leaders". Reforms can be summed up in spending cuts and an austerity plan whose costs no minister, the patriarch said, seems willing to pay.


Beirut (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Lebanon could face economic and financial collapse if the fight against corruption and the political mechanisms that make it possible fails, this according to Maronite Patriarch Card Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi (pictured).

 In his Sunday homily, the prelate cited the notion of "structures of sin", a concept in Catholic social doctrine that was particularly dear to John Paul II.

Such structures, the doctrine suggests, are the result of a set of personal and social sins. Any attack on the common good, on justice among human beings, or on equality in rights and duties, is social in nature.

More specifically, the patriarch criticised the delay in implementing the reforms required by the international community, "which is more concerned about Lebanon than its political leaders".

The reforms can be summed up in spending cuts and an austerity plan whose costs no minister, the patriarch said, seems willing to pay.

Economic experts estimate the public debt costs the government some US$ 30 million a day, for this reason, the government should treat cutting the deficit as a priority.

"It is necessary,” the Patriarch said, “that government members and lawmakers put their finger on the wound, in actions, not just words.

“It is unacceptable not to start the reforms required by the international community, which seems more interested in Lebanon than its leaders. The country, unfortunately, is bogged down in their conflicts of interest.

“It is unacceptable not to solve the problem of electricity, which involves wasteful costs, or postpone a brave decision to revise the laws that regulate salaries and pensions, or more generally the expenses that are driving the Treasury into bankruptcy. It is unacceptable not to vote on this year's budget.”

For the patriarch, “All of these are sins against the Lebanese people” and "politicians, public administrations and the Lebanese people as a whole must adopt an austerity plan or programme, to benefit the Treasury" because "the country is on the brink of economic and financial collapse".

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