Monday, July 24, 2006

Extraordinary plenary assembly of the bishops Maronites of Lebanon: Text of the official statement

Extraordinary plenary assembly of the bishops Maronites of Lebanon: Text of the official statement (in French)

1 - Absolutely unjustifiable and illogical are the painful events which we have lived in Lebanon for the last few days, events which paralysed it, after the bombardment of its landing strips, of the majority of its bridges and roads, certain power stations, of its service and communication centers.

The removal of two soldiers, no matter what one may think, does not justify that an entire country be thus dismembered, the killing of the hundreds of people and the starvation of most of the population.

2 - The dramatic situation lived by the Lebanese, in particular those which were forced to leave their homes and villages, demands all to forget the political differences which separate them and to make a common front. This is not the hour for the settlement of political payments, but of solidarity, understanding and courage to face this situation as best as possible.

3 - The deliberate and intensive bombardment of axis road led to the insulation of the majority of the cities and villages, in particular in the South and in Bekaa. It prevented the routing towards these areas of food aids and medicine. So the fathers {of this assembly} call the humane organizations, in particular the ICRC and the Lebanese Red Cross, to work to bring these populations food, drugs and other products of first need.

4 - The assembly exhorts all the Lebanese to receive in love and solidarity their brothers forced by the war to give up their homes and their villages, regardless of their Community membership. Misfortune must link us instead of separate us. It must place us face to face with our responsibilities and the consequences of our acts without leading us to mutual accusations.

Break the cycle of violence

5 - The assembly exhorts the members of the Security Council of UNO to once and for all put an end to the cycle violence in Lebanon by adopting without delay a resolution asking for an immediate cease-fire, the regard for the life of innocent civilians and to regulate the crisis in such a radical way that complete justice is made to all the parts.

6 - The assembly supports the efforts of the government and the Prime Minister to put an end to the Lebanese tragedy and to set the foundation for a strong and rightful State extending its authority over the whole territory, gathering all people and preserving all the components of the Lebanese society.

7 - The fathers call upon all the faithful to answer the call launched by the Holy Father, the pope Benedict XVI, for one day of prayer and penitence on Sunday to pray for peace. It invites all believers, regardless of the religion they belong, to raise their hearts towards God, the only Lord of history and judge of all human actions, good and bad. It is him whom we beseech to limit these days of test and to spread peace in the hearts and the country.

8 - The fathers thank the chiefs of the sisters Churches, the episcopal councils, bishops of the world, which have solidarized with Lebanon, in this trial. They express their sincere condolences to the families of the victims, and wish speedy recovery for the wounded and ask God to put an end to this terrible misfortune.

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