27 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


» 05/03/2007
LEBANON – VATICAN
Sfeir brings concerns about his country’s future to the Vatican
by Youssef Hourani
Maronite Patriarch is increasingly worried about the institutional deadlock caused by the country’s political crisis, but especially by the increasingly bitter divisions within the Christian community. The synod of Maronite bishops will take place in a few weeks.

Beirut (AsiaNews) – Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Card Nasrallah Sfeir is in the Vatican to see the Pope and bring his concerns about his country’s institutional deadlock caused by its ongoing political crisis. In addition, Lebanese sources close to the Patriarchate suggest that he will also discuss the growing divisions within the Christian community.

The sources also see a connection between Cardinal Sfeir’s Vatican visit and that by David Welch, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, who was received at the beginning of the week by the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti. A former advisor at the Apostolic Nunciature in Lebanon, the archbishop is seen by Lebanese politicians as “a sharp-minded expert who knows Lebanon’s reality and mentality, not to mention a keen observer of how Patriarch Sfeir has led the Maronite Church for the past 21 years and more.”

Similarly, they stress that Cardinal Sfeir remains concern about the increasingly permanent nature of emigration and his fears that the country’s economic crisis might end up depriving Lebanon of its more productive elements.

The Maronite patriarch’s meetings are described as “rich in content.” Significantly, they are taking place just a few weeks before the next synod of Maronite bishops, which is scheduled for the first week of June, and only a few months before the end of President Émile Lahoud’s mandate on November 24. Lebanon’s presidency is reserved for the Christian community.

A Maronite bishop who chose to remain anonymous told AsiaNews that “danger lurks behind our doors,” hence the need to elicit support from  the Holy See a month from US President George W. Bush’s visit to the Vatican.

Divisions among Christians remain the Maronite Church’s main worry. So much so that some have accused Cardinal Sfeir of losing his neutrality and moving closer to the positions expressed by the March 14 movement, the alliance between Geagea and Hariri, which is opposed to the partnership between General Michel Aoun and Hezbollah.

Many hope that the Vatican may also do something with regard to the Christian presence in the Middle East, a topic close to Pope’s heart.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
01/11/2007 LEBANON
Bishops act to end divisions between Maronite political leaders
by Yousef Hourany
12/19/2006 LEBANON
Maronite bishops urge Christian leaders to reconcile
by Youssef Hourany
01/24/2007 LEBANON
Tense calm in Beirut after general strike suspended
by Youssef Hourany
06/04/2009 LEBANON
International pressures and internal divisions mark Lebanon’s elections
by Paul Dakiki
02/15/2010 LEBANON
Commemorating Rafik Hariri’s death, demanding answers from March 14 leaders
by Fady Noun

Editor's choices
IRAN
Time for a deal with Tehran, a reliable partner against the Islamic State group
by Bernardo Cervellera A framework agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue has to be inked by 31 March. US Republicans, Israel and Saudi Arabia are fiercely opposed to it for ulterior motives. Hassan Rouhani wants Iran to come back into the international fold. Tehran is playing a mediating role in the Middle East. For Vatican nuncio, “there is no evidence that Iran is preparing a nuclear bomb.”
CHINA - VATICAN
BREAKING NEWS: Chinese police seize two priests in Mutanjiang
by Bernardo Cervellera
CHINA-VATICAN
Nothing to toast between China and the Vatican: Beijing wants complete control
by Bernardo CervelleraFor the Global Times (the People's Daily) China does not like the "Vietnamese model" of agreed episcopal ordinations. The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s embarrassment in front of the Holy See’s countless efforts. China wants the Vatican to accept all excommunicated bishops and to keep silent on those who are underground and imprisoned. The case of Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang. Without religious freedom, diplomatic relations are pointless. The work of mission and the unity of Catholics in China. A task for Xi Jinping: implement the anti-corruption campaign in the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Patriotic Association, which have grown rich over the decades on the backs of Christians.

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.