Council of Maronite Bishops: Synod to Elect New Patriarch on March 9

The Council of Maronite Bishops announced on Wednesday that the Synod of Maronite bishops will meet starting March 9 at 6:00 pm to elect a new patriarch.

Last week, Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir who is holding the post since 1986. The 90-year-old cardinal cited his old age in comments to the Lebanese media when he handed in his resignation.

The pontiff said in a message to Sfeir that the cardinal's decision was an "expression of great humility."

The council statement read by Monsignor Youssef Toq lauded Sfeir’s sacrifices for the church and his role in defending Lebanon and its unity.

The bishops thanked the pope and all the delegations that participated in the ceremony of unveiling the St. Maroun statue at the Vatican last week.

They also thanked President Michel Suleiman for his attendance.

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