2 March, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 05/05/2014
LEBANON
For Patriarch Rai slams "shameful" campaign against his visit to the Holy Land
by Fady Noun
Two pro-Hizbollah newspapers criticise the patriarch's decision to travel to Jerusalem to meet the pope, calling it an "historic sin". For others, the controversy shows "bad faith" because it is "unthinkable" for the patriarch not to welcome the pope in his diocese.

Beirut (AsiaNews) - Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai has reacted negatively to a "shameful" campaign that aims at stopping him from accompanying Pope Francis on his pastoral visit to Amman (Jordan) and the Holy Land (Jerusalem and Bethlehem ), on 24 to 26 May.

"The protest is unnecessary," he said today at Lourdes, where he is accompanying a delegation of the Lebanese chapter of the Order of Malta on an annual pilgrimage to the French shrine.

Yesterday, he led 25,000 people in prayer for "the tortured and blood-stained East, crucified on the cross by religious hatreds and political and economic interests."

As for the controversy, "the Pope has honoured us with his visit to the diocese of patriarchy and it is normal that the patriarch should welcome him," he explained.

The Maronite Church, the largest Catholic community in the East, has two separate archdioceses covering Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan.

The first, which is a patriarchal vicariate, includes Jerusalem, Palestine and Jordan, and the second covers the territory of the State of Israel within its pre-1967 borders.

In noting that he would not meet Israeli leaders, the patriarch said he was "aware that Israel is an enemy state that is occupying Lebanese territory," but he insisted that he respects "Lebanese law."

What is more, "I am sorry to see that some Lebanese want to create problems where none exist," the patriarch insisted. "The Lebanese should stay calm and stop fuelling this debate. It is shameful."

Here, he was referring to two pro-Hizbollah and pro-Syria Lebanese newspapers, which on Saturday criticised his decision to visit the Holy Land, especially Jerusalem.

In an article titled 'Historic sin: Rai goes to Israel,' As-Safir called the trip a "dangerous precedent" that "serves neither Lebanon and the Lebanese, nor Palestine, much less Christians and Christianity."

For its part, Al-Akhbar wrote that a group of Lebanese politicians would try to persuade Card Rai not to undertake the visit to Jerusalem as long as it is under Israeli occupation, since this visit means dealing with the occupier.

In view of the situation, Mgr Boulos Sayah, vicar general of the Maronite Patriarchate and former bishop to the Holy Land, decided to clarify some points, noting that the patriarch will "go to Jerusalem only to welcome the Pope", that he would not have done it under any other circumstance.

Mgr Sayah also noted that the anti-visit campaign "is acting in bad faith", that it would be "unthinkable" for the Maronite Patriarch to refuse a papal invitation to visit Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

He further pointed out that the patriarch will not pass through an Israeli airport, but will go first to Amman, where the papal visit will start, before going by bus to Bethlehem, and then travel to Jerusalem. The Pope will instead fly to Israel from Amman.

After the pope's departure, Patriarch Rai will go to the Galilee, including Nazareth and Haifa, to visit Maronite parishes, "as he is duty-bound," and which the "local bishop does on a regular basis with no one complaining."


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
05/08/2014 LEBANON
Maronite patriarch in Holy Land to "welcome", not accompany Pope Francis
by Fady Noun
04/25/2013 ARGENTINA - LEBANON
The pope of the poor: visiting Card Bergoglio's flat in Buenos Aires
by Fady Noun
09/03/2012 LEBANON - VATICAN
Patriarch Rai: Welcome pope by overcoming Lebanon's divisions
by Fady Noun
08/20/2014 LEBANON - IRAQ
Patriarch al-Rahi in Kurdistan for the future of Christians and the fight against Islamists
by Fady Noun
05/27/2014 LEBANON - THE HOLY LAND
Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi prays for peace at the Holy Sepulchre

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.