05/03/2021, 10.08
LEBANON
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Lebanese Church invokes a people’s government to overcome 'existential crisis'

The Maronite Patriarch and the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan united in criticism of political class. Greek Orthodox Metropolitan: errors accumulated over time, we pray "for resurrection". Maronite Patriarch: we need "solutions" to conflicts and unsolved problems. International aid is fundamental, because the origin "is not Lebanese".

Beirut (AsiaNews / Agencies) - In their weekend sermons the leading exponents of the Lebanese Church lashed out against the local political and ruling class, guilty of the economic and institutional crisis that has paralyzed the country for months.

The Maronite patriarch, Card. Beshara Raï, and the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Élias Audi have asked the authorities to speed up the formation of the government, blocked for nine months, and to put aside their political and party rivalries for the well-being of the nation.

The Christian leaders refer to the ongoing clash between the President of the Republic, the Maronite Christian Michel Aoun (close to Hezbollah and Iran), and the prime minister in charge, the Sunni Saad Hariri (supported by the Saudis). For some time, the two politicians have been blaming each other for the crisis, without finding a way for dialogue and the birth of an executive in full function.

“Our situation - said Msgr. Audi during the mass for the Orthodox Easter, which was celebrated yesterday - it is not recent. Errors have accumulated over time, and Lebanon has lost the ingredients that allow it to protect its existence”.

The problem is not only financial or economic, he warns him, but "existential" because those who manage the country are betting "on the little that remains to guarantee their interests and stay in their place, to the detriment of the citizens".

“On this day when the resurrection of Christ is celebrated - the prelate underlined - we pray for the resurrection of Lebanon. For this to happen we need an active government, which implements the necessary reforms to restore life to public institutions and regain the trust of the international community". Mgr. Audi concludes, "an executive which is not controlled by the parties and whose members they are all experts who do not seek personal gain ".

The Maronite patriarch, was equally critical of the leading politicians including the (Christian) president Aoun without naming him.

"The Lebanese state - he said - does not need mediation and pressure for the formation of a government, but good will at a national level and a sense of responsibility, in compliance with the Constitution and the national pact".

Card. Raï continued: "The government, does not belong to you, but belongs to the people. Ministries and institutions are not yours, but of the people" and it is also to unblock the stalemate that "we have called for the organization of an international conference on Lebanon and the proclamation of its neutrality".

"It is true that we need a government but above all we need solutions to the conflicts and issues that prevent Lebanon from being a country in a normal situation".

The Maronite primate then listed a series of unresolved issues: from the obstacles to the formation of the government to the parliamentary and presidential elections (scheduled for next year), from the non-application of the Constitution to the deformation of the national pact, from the sabotage of the democratic system to the possession of illegal weapons (here the reference, without naming it, is Hezbollah).

“All these issues - concluded Card. Raï - require international help, because their origin is not Lebanese. These issues are the consequence of Arab, regional and international conflicts”.

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