05/06/2021, 12.37
LEBANON
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Maronite bishops concerned about the political crisis and the 'disintegration' of Lebanese institutions

At their monthly meeting in Bkerké, the prelates sounded the alarm about the country’s future. There is a real threat of an economic and financial collapse, which must be met with the formation of a government'. Smuggling has “serious consequences”. The apostolic nuncio is set to meet with the Pope today.

Beirut (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The continuing political vacuum, the lack of a stable and effective government, and the clash between President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister designate Saad Hariri could lead to an irremediable disintegration of Lebanese political institutions, this according to Maronite bishops who held their monthly assembly yesterday at the patriarchal see in Bkerké chaired by Card Beshara al-Rahi.

The head of the Maronite Church and the Apostolic Nuncio in Beirut Archbishop Joseph Spiteri have warned repeatedly of this danger in the past. The latter was set to discuss the country’s existential crisis with Pope Francis at today's meeting in the Vatican.

In a statement released at the end of their monthly meeting, Lebanon’s bishops explained that “in the face of the dangerous and pressing situation that could bring about Lebanon’s economic and financial collapse, the bishops reiterate their appeal to those responsible for the formation of a government.”

Church leaders urge political leaders “to put aside their calculations and interests. [. . .] The state is disintegrating in a way that is in danger of becoming irremediable,” they warn.

Similarly, the Maronite Bishops' Conference indirectly deplores the losses suffered by the economy as a result of the smuggling of products subsidised by the Central Bank of Lebanon into Syria, in particular the illegal underground trade in fuel.

The bishops note that using the bank’s reserves to finance a voucher card for families living below the poverty line could have serious consequences.

Lastly, the local Church expressed deep concern about a wave of thefts and robberies, which could lead to “serious security chaos.”

The Lebanese crisis is at the heart of this morning's meeting in the Vatican between the Pontiff and the Apostolic Nuncio Joseph Spiteri.

In the recent past, the diplomat strongly expressed his concerns about the progressive breakup of Lebanon’s “mosaic”, which has so far defined its existence.

“Can we continue to speak of Lebanon as a message if the life Lebanese share begins to be the main reason for difficulties?” asked the apostolic nuncio.

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