Maronite Patriarch Bechara al-Rai said on Sunday that the election of a president “gives institutions their legitimacy.” “Lebanese political leaders need to reconcile with each other, turn the page on the past and re-establish mutual trust,” added Archbishop Rai in his Sunday homily. “This makes it possible to place the good of the Lebanese above all considerations,” he continued.

However, the Patriarch stated that “practices in Lebanon run counter to these principles,” which “reinforce tensions and the assiduous pursuit of personal and sectarian interests to the detriment of the general good.” “Reconciliation and peace are the only way out of the presidential crisis,” he asserted, expressing his support for any initiative aimed at breaking the deadlock. In this respect, he thanked the ambassadors of the five countries (United States, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Egypt) and the National Moderation parliamentary bloc for their initiative.

Last week, MPs from this bloc toured political and religious leaders to present their initiative aimed at breaking the deadlock in the presidential elections. The initiative consists in holding consultations followed by an open parliamentary session.

“The election of a president confers legitimacy to the institutions of the State, in particular Parliament and the government, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution,” insisted Archbishop Rai. “As long as the Lebanese Republic has no president, chaos will persist, the state will disintegrate, law-breaking will continue and injustice will continue to reign.”

Turning to the war in Gaza, Rai denounced “the massacres perpetrated by the Israelis against the Palestinian people.” “They purposely kill dozens of starving people who are waiting for humanitarian aid,” he said, referring to the “massacre” committed on Thursday during which dozens of Palestinians were killed as they rushed onto humanitarian aid trucks.

“In Lebanon, no party must allow itself to be drawn into war, massacres, destruction and the displacement of populations for causes foreign to the Lebanese and the population of South Lebanon,” he insisted, alluding to the southern front opened by Hezbollah on October 8 in support of Hamas, the day after the start of the war in Gaza between the Palestinian Islamist movement and the Hebrew state.

“Lebanon’s message is to be a land of peace and a pioneer in this field, because of its specificity, its cultural and religious diversity, its history, its political system and its coexistence pact,” concluded the Patriarch.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Newsletter signup

Please wait...

Thank you for sign up!