» 05/05/2014, 00.00
For Patriarch Rai slams "shameful" campaign against his visit to the Holy Land
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.
Maronite patriarch in Holy Land to "welcome", not accompany Pope Francis
Card Beshara Rai reacts to attacks by groups close to Syria, Iran and Hizbollah, who accuse him of wanting to normalise relations with Israel. Instead, he notes that, as head of the Maronite Church, it is his duty to welcome the pope during his apostolic visit, a stance backed by Mahmoud Abbas, for whom the matter is religious, not political.
25/04/2013 ARGENTINA - LEBANON
The pope of the poor: visiting Card Bergoglio's flat in Buenos Aires
On a pastoral visit to Latin America, Patriarch Rai went to see Pope Francis's old flat when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires. He saw the crucifix the pope used to kiss when he went in and out of his bedroom, which had no TV or air conditioning. The patriarch is currently on a visit that focuses on the pastoral care of millions of people of Lebanese origin who for over a century have lived in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay, and Venezuela. The lack of vocations is a challenge for foreign missions. Pictures follow at the end.
03/09/2012 LEBANON - VATICAN
Patriarch Rai: Welcome pope by overcoming Lebanon's divisions
The head of the Maronite Church calls on Lebanese Christians to anticipate the papal visit (14-16 September) with love and truth. During his visit, the pope will sign an Apostolic Exhortation written in the wake of the Synod of the Churches of the Middle East. In a statement, the patriarch stressed the important role Christians can play in a new "Arab spring" but bemoaned divisions and hatreds among Arab countries.
20/08/2014 LEBANON - IRAQ
Patriarch al-Rahi in Kurdistan for the future of Christians and the fight against Islamists
The cardinal makes a short one-day stop in Erbil accompanied by civil and religious leaders. He will meet with Kurdish President Barzani and visit the archbishop's see. The trip will focus on the fate of Christians fleeing jihadists and the possible use of force to repel the Islamist threat. The issue of relations with Islam and interfaith dialogue will also be discussed.
27/05/2014 LEBANON - THE HOLY LAND
Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi prays for peace at the Holy Sepulchre
The cardinal continues his pastoral visit. Yesterday he did not accompany Pope Francis when the latter met with Israeli leaders. On 8 May, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the announcement of the patriarch's visit and, two days ago, awarded him the "Star of Jerusalem" for his visit to the city and for strengthening its ties with the Arab world.
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