His Beatitude John X From Balamand “We urge all…


His Beatitude John X From Balamand
“We urge all the parties to form a Lebanese government”
January 19, 2020

His Beatitude John X, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East called once again to form a Lebanese government, urging all parties to facilitate the process. Those are the words of His Beatitude during the Divine Liturgy in the Balamand Monastery, con-celebrated with many priests and deacons.

The Patriarch gave a warm welcome to the delegation of priests and waqf authorities from Iskenderun and Mersin. He commended the authenticity, love, and zeal that characterize the Antiochian community in the District. He asked the delegation to convey his love, with all the Antiochian Church, towards their kin in the villages and capital of the District, the great Antioch, the historical capital of the East.

His Beatitude stressed on the Levantine Christian roots and spoke about the general situation in Lebanon. He said in his homily:

“As Antiochian Christians, we have been planted in this Levant since the dawn of Christianity. We grew in the neighbourhood of its mountains and valleys. We are its rocks, we are the cedars that breathe its spirit into the branches to meet everyone and all over the world, in times in when the spirit of radicalism, intolerance, ethnicities and nationalisms is growing. Facing this harsh hurricane that is sweeping Lebanon away, I would like to confirm once more that, as Orthodox, we are far from the sectarian or factional language. We are fashioned with patriotism, first and foremost, a patriotism that sees in the homeland a crucible where everyone melts together into a unity that preserves the role and entity of each religious component. The Orthodox collaborated with others in these lands to make the glory of Lebanon and poured the fragrance of Lebanon over the whole world.

Today we pray with united hearts and tongues, for Lebanon. Lebanon is going through this labour; he calls on us all to be of one accord, to stand united, as a coherent internal front that requests the formation of a rescue government as soon as possible. Therefore, we loudly urge all parties to facilitate this matter, out of mercy for Lebanon and the Lebanese human person. Today, priority is not for self-interests, quarrels and sending back responsibilities. Rather, it is to activate the rescue process and achieve something to crush down corruption, remediate the crisis, take away the pain of the people, and restore its dignity, meeting the aspirations of the youth and promising a stable future. Perhaps Lebanon needs as soon as possible that its various components, groups and powers, be engaged in a serious dialogue that radically addresses the deficiencies in political life and the reasons of these major crises, so that we do not remain forever stuck in the repercussions of their results. This is what we hope and call for.

Here, I would like to stress that what concerns us as a Church is our societies, first and foremost. We need to do away with all their shortcomings, to let the people in these societies develop in soul and body. Lebanon was not born to be a space of avenging personal issues. We do not forget that Christ has come to our world for the human person who is suffering under the cross of misery and exhaustion.

Therefore, I completely understand that our heart in essence is the human being, especially one who suffers, who hungers and thirsts. In the fifties of the last century, our dear son Ghassan Tueni shouted aloud: “We need to eat, we are hungry”. Here we are calling the politicians in this country to set aside their feuds and look at the human person’s vital needs.

You can disagree about politics, but do unite and show solidarity in development. You can disagree about politics, but do unite in service, in compassion towards the persons who are facing unemployment and hiking prices. You can disagree about politics, but hold your hands together to eradicate those who steal away peoples’ livelihood and throw it in the gutters of waste and corruption.

By the way, we value the youth's insistence on the protests, however, we call on all those who went down the streets to ask for their rights to stay away from violence and to preserve the peaceful nature of their movement, so that the country does not slip into destructive conflicts that worsens the current tragedy of the people. Any additional tragedies would delay Lebanon’s recovery and deepen its many economic, financial and social problems.

We extend our prayers from this honourable monastery to the Blessed Virgin Mary for Lebanon and for the recovery of all those who were wounded. We pray that they all open up their hearts to the mercy of God, so that this country lives in good times, in prosperity and peace. We pray for this wounded Levant and all its countries, which seeks the dawn of the Resurrection from the thresholds of the cross".