Maronite Bishop Synod Slams 'Unacceptable' Behavior by MPs

The Maronite bishops synod reiterated on Thursday Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi's stance regarding the ongoing presidential vacuum, considering that the delay in electing a new head of state violates the constitution and the national pact.

“The absence of the head of state poses a threat to the country,” the synod said after its annual retreat.

The synod slammed the failure of lawmakers to attend parliament sessions to elect a new president, describing their behavior as “unacceptable.”

Lebanon has been plunged into a leadership vacuum after Michel Suleiman's presidential term ended on May 25 with rival political blocs still divided over a new leader.

Over the past two months the parliament convened seven times to try to elect a successor to Suleiman but failed during the last six sessions due to a lack of quorum.

Concerning al-Rahi's recent visit to the Holly Land, the synod said that it “gave hope back” to the Lebanese who fled to Israel.

Al-Rahi headed to Jerusalem at the end of May in a visit that sparked local controversy.

Lebanon remains technically at war with Israel and bans its citizens from entering the Jewish state.

But Maronite clergy are permitted to travel to Israel to minister to the estimated 10,000 faithful there.

On the situation in the neighboring country Syria and in Iraq, the synod denounced the situation, calling on the people of the Middle East to end the state of violence.



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