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     Home > Synod >  2010-10-14 17:11:47
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Intervention of Mons. Béchara RAÏ, Bishop of Jbeil of the Maronites (LEBANON)

We can read in no. 34 of the Instrumentum laboris: “In Lebanon, Christians are deeply divided at the political and confessional level and are lacking a commonly accepted plan of action”. There is no division on the confessional level, but a diversity of Catholic, Orthodox and Evangelical “sui iuris” Churches, each having their own liturgical, theological, spiritual and disciplinary patrimony. There is however a division on the political level, which does not touch the essence but the strategic options. As for the essence, Christians are in agreement about national constants, defined in the document called “the constants” published by the Maronite Patriarchate on December 6th 2006, which was accepted and signed by the heads of the Christian political parties. These constants were developed in another document which appeared in 2008 entitled: Charter of Political Action in the Light of the Teaching of the Church and the Specificity of Lebanon.

As for political options, the division of Christians is centered on the strategy relating to the protection of the said constants and the efficient and effective presence of Christians. This division is caused by today’s political conditions, internal as well as regional and international.
For there are strong divisions between the Sunnite and the Shiite in the Arab world, apparently on the regional level, in the coalition, on the Sunnite side, between Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, and on the Shiite side between Iran and Syria. This division was transformed into a bloody conflict between the Sunnite and the Shiite of Iraq. On the international level, the conflict can be located between the United States and its allies in favor of the Sunnites on one hand, and Iran on the other, because of regional ambitions and its nuclear program. In Lebanon, it is the political conflict between the Shiites and the Sunnites, where the division of Christians can be placed. To save the Lebanese regime and their effective presence, one part chose alliance with the Sunnites, another part with the Shiites and a third part calls for good relations with the Sunnites and the Shiites, and to not allow ourselves to be led into the politics of the regional and international axes.
The political project acceptable to all consists in perfecting the civil State, whose elements can be found in the “Constants”, the “Charter of Political Action” and the Constitution. This is what differentiates Lebanon from other Middle Eastern countries, all having religious regimes.

[00069-02.03] [IN046] [Original text: French]


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