05/13/2005, 00.00
LEBANON

Press release by Maronite Bishops is moderate, clear and just, says Ignatius IV Hazim

On the eve of his departure for the United States, the Patriarch of Antioch said to "look to the future with optimism" and confirmed his "full confidence" in Cardinal Sfeir.

Beirut (AsiaNews) – For Ignatius IV Hazim, Greek-Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, the press release of the Synod of Maronite Bishops concerning Lebanon's 2000 electoral law, is moderate, clear and just.

In a press conference given at the Beirut residence of Mgr Elias Awde, Orthodox Metropolitan, the Patriarch said "we ought to study it closely because it is not a message of hatred. Lebanon needs a representative parliament".

Ignatius IV further reiterated his "full confidence" in the actions of Cardinal Sfeir, whom he called "a voice who speaks for the whole country".

The Patriarch strongly urged those present to "look to the future with optimism".

Ignatius IV, who is leaving for the United States where he is to receive the Pax Christi Award, also spoke about General Michel Aoun.

"I have not had the opportunity of meeting him in person," he said, "but I love and respect all those who love Lebanon".

He also said he hopes to meet "all these people" soon. (YH)

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Maronite bishops call for new electoral law, Geagea's release
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Sfeir brings concerns about his country’s future to the Vatican
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General Michel Aoun and Lebanon's future
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