Matar Says National Solidarity Tantamount to Reform


Beirut Archbishop Boulos Matar on Saturday said that reform can “only be achieved” through comprehensive national solidarity among Lebanon’s different components, calling on the newly formed government to work as one in order to restore the confidence of the Lebanese in their homeland.

In remarks he made marking St. Maroun Day in Saint Maroun Church in Gemayzeh, he said: “National unity governments are usually formed when the country is in danger,” referring to Lebanon’s “national unity cabinet” that was formed after a nine-month deadlock.

Urging everyone to work for the country’s interest, he said: “Lebanon is the homeland of freedom with distinction. We must all work together in order to safeguard its future,” he added.

The sermon was attended by a number of politicians and officials­ including President Michel Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Saad Hariri and many others who gathered to honor the patron saint of the Maronite community.

Comments 4
Thumb chrisrushlau 09 February 2019, 18:40

"freedom with distinction" meaning Christians get half the legislative seats regardless of their vote totals. That reminds me of Israel's former chief justice, Aharon Barak, saying its Basic Law definition of it as a "Jewish and democratic state" has a condition: "equality is a complex right" is the title of one of his sections. Naturally he ends up rejecting equality.
We expect religious leaders to define the limits of reason, not to violate it.

Thumb chrisrushlau 09 February 2019, 18:45

If by "national unity" he means power-sharing, referring to the Christian set-aside, this 1:1 set-aside has been in place since the 19990's. Before that, Christians were reserved seats in a ratio of 6:5 over Muslims. Such set-asides have been in Lebanon's "constitution" since "independence" from France. The country has "been in danger" this whole time? I agree, with a "constitution" like that. Who decides who is Christian and who is Muslim? That's the danger.

Thumb chrisrushlau 09 February 2019, 18:59

The archeparchy includes the Beirut Governorate and the central part of the Mount Lebanon Governorate. Its archeparchial seat is the city of Beirut, where is located the Saint George Cathedral.
The territory is divided into 127 parishes and as of 2012, there were 232,000 Maronite Catholics.
Beirut Governorate (Arabic: محافظة بيروت‎, Muhāfazat Bayrūt) is a Lebanese governorate that consists of one district and one city, Beirut, which is also its capital, and the capital of Lebanon.

The area of this governorate is 19.8 km² (without suburbs); despite its small size, it is considered the most important region in Lebanon because of its economical, political, cultural, and social activity. The governor of Beirut is Greek Orthodox according to tradition, while the mayor is Sunni Muslim. Beirut is known to be the most religiously diverse city in the Middle East. There are about 2.5 million people in Beirut and its suburbs (Greater Beirut).

Thumb chrisrushlau 10 February 2019, 18:42

Speak English, man!