11/02/2012, 00.00
LEBANON

Maronite patriarch slams corruption and search for political power

The newly elevated cardinal said the "Church condemns all political" action "that is solely limited to achieving personal gains," warning against corruption in government and public life. Noting that political action is a "moral duty" that is incompatible with corruption and despotism, he praises the president who called for dialogue among the parties.

Beirut (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi has come out swinging at corruption, which is becoming all-pervasive in government and public life.

The patriarch, who has just been made a cardinal and who will formally receive his biretta at the next consistory on 24 November, did not mince words when he slammed those who seek power for personal gains.

This morning, Mgr al-Rahi left no doubts as to where he stood, as he spoke at the start of a seminar in Bkerke, the Lebanese town that is the home to the Patriarchate of Antioch of the Maronites.  

The 14 March alliance, which is close to former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, has called for the resignation of the Hizbollah-dominated 8 March coalition government, after a car bomb killed Internal Security Forces intelligence chief Wissam Hassan on 19 October. Following the attack, the alliance decided to boycott all government activities, including parliamentary sessions.

"The Church condemns all political" action "that is solely limited to achieving personal gains at the expense of the public interest and that aims at obstructing state institutions ... in search for power," the patriarch said in his statement.

Political action is a "moral duty" that is "incompatible with corruption, despotism and dependence on money or abroad."

Yesterday, the prelate met Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, praising the latter's call for serious dialogue among the parties for the greater good of the country.

For the patriarch, only dialogue can provide an opportunity for a "transition to a better political and economic period".

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