Rahi Slams Campaigns against Church, Says Baabda Crisis Linked to Sunni-Shiite Strife

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Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi slammed on Friday some journalists and TV stations without naming them for reports and shows that “contradict moral values” and said Lebanon's presidential crisis is linked to Sunni-Shiite discord.

“Some writings and TV shows are violating sanctity and resorting to deception and lies for money-making purposes,” said al-Rahi.

“We are witnessing media campaigns against us at the expense of moral and cultural values,” the patriarch told journalists who report on church affairs.

“Such campaigns on church institutions and Christianity are a form of advertisement,” he said during the meeting with the reporters at the seat of the patriarchate in Bkirki.

Al-Rahi stressed he does not act alone and that he coordinates with Maronite bishops on church-related matters.

“The patriarchate is an institution,” he said. “It shouldn't be dealt with the way is being currently treated.”

Some newspaper articles and TV shows have recently reported about alleged corruption in religious institutions.

At the start of his speech, al-Rahi stressed that he would not discuss political issues.

But he later told reporters during a chat that the church hopes for the success of dialogue among politicians.

He also hoped that MPs would not miss another chance to elect a new president.

On Wednesday, the parliament failed in a new round of elections to find a successor to President Michel Suleiman whose term ended in May.

“No one can deny that the election of a president is linked to the Sunni-Shiite strife and both Iran and Saudi Arabia have a say in it,” al-Rahi said.

The presidential deadlock and other crises have compelled al-Mustaqbal Movement and Hizbullah representatives to hold talks.

A similar dialogue is expected to be held between Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun and Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea, who are both candidates aiming for the country's top Christian post.

The rivalry between the two alliances, which they belong to, has left Baabda Palace vacant.

During his chat with reporters, al-Rahi revealed that he held secret talks last week with the Maronite leaders to discuss with them the political crisis.

"Dialogue is ongoing," he said.



Comments 6
Thumb freedomarch 09 January 2015, 13:11

Oh, so the lunatic, have nothing to do with it? He just wants to be a president "by force"! Supporting HizEbola to block all institutions to function, .... nice blame it on others and please the people who are deliberately refrain from coming to parliament to elect a president yet clearly sunnies with M14 are coming to the session every time. What a just statement!

Default-user-icon puff (Guest) 09 January 2015, 13:44

I'm waiting with bated breath on what chrisrushlau the great defender of Shia majority rights has to say about this.

Default-user-icon + oua nabka + (Guest) 09 January 2015, 15:04

+oua sa nabka +
despite all evil

Missing humble 09 January 2015, 20:23

Very true. With the help of Ebola, Caporal is destroying the Christians.

Missing humble 09 January 2015, 20:24

We do not want to see insults and dirty words. People who are uneducated get out from here !!!!

Thumb -phoenix1 10 January 2015, 19:21

Is the Christian/Sunni, Christian/Shiite alliances just a mirage? 1975 still fresh on our memories.