Al-Rahi Delays Africa Trip Due to Sfeir's 'Critical Health Situation'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi on Wednesday postponed an upcoming visit to Africa due to the "critical health situation" of ex-patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir, Bkirki said.
The visit has been rescheduled from May 9 to May 21, a Bkirki statement said, adding that al-Rahi wants to stay next to Sfeir.
The patriarch also asked the faithful to pray for Sfeir's recovery.
Later in the day, al-Rahi visited the Hôtel-Dieu de France hospital in Ashrafieh to check on Sfeir's health and slammed media reports claiming that the former patriarch had died.
Dr. Elias Sfeir for his part announced that the ex-patriarch's condition is critical yet stable, revealing that he is suffering from pulmonary and urinary tract infections.
"His blood pressure and heart are good and the kindneys are still working. He has suffered a septic shock and he overcame a similar condition last year, and God willing we will overcome it this time as well," he added.
Sfeir was born on May 15, 1920.
He was elected Patriarch of Antioch for the Maronites on April 27, 1986.
Sfeir submitted his resignation to the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in Rome in late 2010, but his resignation was not initially accepted because six Maronite bishops had submitted their resignations after reaching the retirement age of 75 in June 2010. His resignation was finally accepted by Pope Benedict XVI on 26 February 2011.