Lebanon Celebrates al-Rahi’s Inauguration Mass with Participation of High-Ranking Officialsإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The inauguration mass of Beshara al-Rahi, the country’s 77th Maronite patriarch, is scheduled to be held in Bkirki on Friday afternoon with the attendance of the country’s top leaders.
President Michel Suleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri, caretaker Premier Saad Hariri and Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati will participate in the ceremony that is scheduled to start at 5:00 pm. Cabinet Ministers, MPs, party leaders, diplomats, heads of the country’s different sects and other dignitaries will also attend the event which will be followed by a dinner to be hosted by al-Rahi.
A March 8 source told The Daily Star that Miqati and Free Patriotic Movement leader Aoun are expected to meet on the sidelines of the dinner to try to end the rift over the interior ministry portfolio.
Bishop Roland Abu Jawdeh invited all Lebanese, Christians in particular, to attend the mass. He told Voice of Lebanon radio station on Friday that there was no need to show invitation cards to take part in the ceremony.
An Nahar daily said that al-Rahi decided to spend his weekend at one of the Maronite archdiocese and would later start a tour to other countries. Syria might be the new patriarch’s first stop, the newspaper said.
It quoted him as telling his visitors that he would spend two days in each Lebanese region.
Asked if he would visit southern Lebanon, which is a Hizbullah stronghold, al-Rahi reportedly said: “I will not exclude any area.”