Maronite Patriarch Warns of Devastation Caused By Sectarian Militias

Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai Believes Non-State Armies Leading to Destruction of Country

Harissa, (Zenit.org) Staff | 1019 hits

The Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites warned of the devastating effects of the sectarian militias that are increasing their presence in the region. According to Fides News Agency, Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai stated that a non-state army that exists in Lebanon will result in the country descending to the “law of the jungle” while increasing crime. The Patriarch made his statements during a homily on Sunday in Barissa.

The head of the Maronite Church called on political factions to reconcile in a new social contract, based on the National Pact of 1943 with which Christians and Muslims agreed on the joint management of political power and institutional offices in Lebanon which became independent from France. Patriarch Rai believes the conflict between the political factions is contributing to the "destruction of the Country.”

A drift that can be stopped only by returning to the foundational Covenant "with which the Lebanese built their Country on the basis of living together, preserving Lebanon against any loyalty to other nations of the East or the West.”

Fides also spoke to Msgr Francois Eid, the Maronite Patriarchal Procurator to the Holy See, who commented on Patriarch Rai’s words and the historical references he made regarding the National Pact of 1943.

"Already in 1943, the Lebanese chose to remain independent of the geopolitical blocs and regional powers that exercised their influence in the Middle East. Christians and Muslims signed the agreement on the management of power on an equal basis. This approach was confirmed by the Treaty of Taif, after the Civil War. But now many, on the basis of demographic considerations, say that the line should be set aside in order to pass on to a tripartite management of power, which divides the offices and positions of responsibility among Christians, Shiites and Sunnis,” Msgr. Eid said.

Our country is already immersed in that terrible conflict,” the Patriarchal Procurator continued. “And this, for Lebanon, can be devastating.”