Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, presided over Sunday Mass service in Dimane this morning.
During his religious sermon, the Patriarch called for a rapid formation of a government with full prerogatives that assumes its responsibilities and elects a President of the Republic within the constitutional deadline. According to him, the Presidency of the Republic is the pillar of the Lebanese entity and the symbol of the unity of Lebanon.
“It is our ecclesiastical duty to address the consciences of officials and urge them to form a new government with full powers to bear its constitutional responsibilities each day. We urge them to elect a new president of the republic within the constitutional deadline, without any delay,” al-Rahi asserted.
He added: “It is really shameful that, since 1988, delaying the election of the Lebanese president has become a habit…as if to delude the Lebanese that the presidential elections are not absolutely necessary, since the state runs with or without a president. Is it the final stage in the scheme for regime change, the coup against Taif, and the overthrowing of the state?”
Al-Rahi continued: “Let everyone remember that the Presidency of the Republic is the foundation for the emergence of the Lebanese entity and the symbol of Lebanon’s unity. Without a president, there is no symbol or Lebanese unity. That is why we also demand a president who is at the level of the entity, the people, and the national symbolism, who brings the spirit of renaissance to the people and draws the borders of the state, not only with the countries surrounding Lebanon, but with Lebanese forces that act as if there is no prevention, no borders, and no dignity for the state, legitimacy and the army.”
The Patriarch went on to explain that “when we say we do not want a president that poses a challenge, we do not mean at all that we want a president who is challenged by all…The president’s ability to face challenges stems mainly from his morals, his immunity to temptations, his steadfastness in the face of intimidation, his resorting to the constitution and to the people at fateful crossroads.”
“Therefore, we ask all parties concerned with this presidential election to launch a movement of contacts and consultations in order to agree on a candidate with these qualities,” al-Rahi affirmed.