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The Maronite Patriarch seeks dialogue with Hezbollah #388005
11/10/12 07:45 AM
11/10/12 07:45 AM
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Tomassus Offline OP
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The Maronite Patriarch seeks dialogue with Hezbollah

The meeting between the cardinal-designate and a delegation of the Party of God is followed by those with the opposition and Christian politicians. Agreement on the need for dialogue to end the crisis and the need, in principle, for a truly representative electoral law.

[Linked Image]


Beirut (AsiaNews) 10 November 2012 http://www.asianews.it/news-en/The-Maronite-Patriarch-seeks-dialogue-with-Hezbollah-26320.html - An important meeting for the future of Lebanon took place yesterday in Bkerke between Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi and a delegation of Hezbollah, led by Sayyed Ibrahim Amin al-Sayyed, head of the political council of the Party of God ( in the picture).

The formal motivation was the presentation of congratulations on the Patriarch's appointment as cardinal, to which he responded with a less formal invitation to the ceremony in Rome on 24 November.

The occasion was used, however, for an exchange of views on key issues, such as the new electoral law and, above all, for finding a way out of a crisis that has long held the Land of Cedars in political stalemate.

Card. Rai is very cautiously moving on this front. The meeting with the Shi'ite group in fact follows those with the opposition, the 14 March party led by Fouad Siniora, and with Christian politicians such as Michel Aoun.

This in an attempt to "open a breach in the wall" in place between the political forces. A line that actually sees the patriarch sided with President Michel Sleiman.

For his part, Sayyed called the meeting with the Patriarch as "an opportunity to discuss issues affecting the Lebanese" and for agreement on the "use of dialogue to resolve differences".

The same Sayyed, however, has denied that there is the possibility of creating a "neutral government" suggested by March 14.

In principal, the Patriarch and Shiites have both agreed on the need for a new electoral law. Card. Rai wants it to be "truly representative of all parts of society and that safeguards coexistence." Sayyed explained that Hezbollah's support for a proportional electoral law "means that we reject that of 1960" and the new one "must ensure effective representation and maintain collaboration between the public and the political authority."

What concrete steps these affirmations will produce remains to be seen.

Re: The Maronite Patriarch seeks dialogue with Hezbollah [Re: Tomassus] #388014
11/10/12 02:21 PM
11/10/12 02:21 PM
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So, His Beatitude wants to discuss electoral process with a group that disdains democratic processes ("Was it one man/one vote in Abbasid Caliphate? No, it was not. Is JIHAD!"). That ought to work out well.

Re: The Maronite Patriarch seeks dialogue with Hezbollah [Re: StuartK] #388015
11/10/12 04:50 PM
11/10/12 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
So, His Beatitude wants to discuss electoral process with a group that disdains democratic processes ("Was it one man/one vote in Abbasid Caliphate? No, it was not. Is JIHAD!"). That ought to work out well.


While St Francis of Assisi did not convert the Egyptian Caliph by bravely going in his midst and conversing with him, he did charm him and win his heart. It beats Crusading! "Lord, make us instruments of Thy peace."

Re: The Maronite Patriarch seeks dialogue with Hezbollah [Re: Tomassus] #388016
11/10/12 05:34 PM
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St. Francis had the luxury of going home to Italy after his failure. The Maronite Patriarch does not. St. Francis was also acting on his own behalf--he was not responsible for the spiritual and material well being of any larger group of people.

Re: The Maronite Patriarch seeks dialogue with Hezbollah [Re: StuartK] #388020
11/10/12 07:36 PM
11/10/12 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
St. Francis had the luxury of going home to Italy after his failure. The Maronite Patriarch does not. St. Francis was also acting on his own behalf--he was not responsible for the spiritual and material well being of any larger group of people.


I'm not sure St Francis considered a trip back to Italy a luxury and he never acted on his own behalf. He certainly felt he was responsible for the spiritual and material well-being of his "fratres minores" who since the early thirteenth century, through all the political upheavals that have surrounded them in this part of the world, have maintained an almost continuous presence there, largely because of this spirit of good will toward the Muslims begun by Francis himself. The Orthodox, by the way, have not been as kind to the friars.

Re: The Maronite Patriarch seeks dialogue with Hezbollah [Re: Tomassus] #388028
11/10/12 10:21 PM
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On his mission to Cairo, Francis was very much a privatus. And, let's be honest--Francis changed nothing, and the lot of Egypt's Christians got worse after he left. Now, the Patriarch of the Maronites is talking about election reform with people who don't believe in elections--don't believe in democracy. This is making nice noises for the sake of making nice noises. It's foolish to pay attention to the "innocent as babes" part and ignore the "cunning as serpents" part. The Patriarch is no fool, so he knows full well that nothing will come of his initiative. Hezbollah would have to cease to be Hezbollah, and since Hezbollah takes its marching orders from Iran, that ain't gonna happen.

Re: The Maronite Patriarch seeks dialogue with Hezbollah [Re: StuartK] #388046
11/11/12 12:38 PM
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Hezbollah are a democratically-elected political party in Lebanon and the most important party in the governing coalition, which includes some predominantly-Christian parties, most importantly Gen. Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement. Since the Maronite electorate itself is split about 50-50 between parties supporting the government (broadly-speaking dominated by Shi'ites) and those in opposition (dominated by Sunnis), it only makes sense for Cardinal Rai to be in dialogue with Hezbollah.... In any event, especially during the lifetime of Ayatollah Fadlallah, Hezbollah had good relations with Christian spiritual leaders in Lebanon, particularly with the Orthodox.

Re: The Maronite Patriarch seeks dialogue with Hezbollah [Re: Tomassus] #388047
11/11/12 01:23 PM
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And Sinn Fein was a democratically-elected political party not associated in any way with the Irish Republican Army. Puh-leese.

Re: The Maronite Patriarch seeks dialogue with Hezbollah [Re: StuartK] #388057
11/12/12 03:16 AM
11/12/12 03:16 AM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
On his mission to Cairo, Francis was very much a privatus. And, let's be honest--Francis changed nothing, and the lot of Egypt's Christians got worse after he left. Now, the Patriarch of the Maronites is talking about election reform with people who don't believe in elections--don't believe in democracy. This is making nice noises for the sake of making nice noises. It's foolish to pay attention to the "innocent as babes" part and ignore the "cunning as serpents" part. The Patriarch is no fool, so he knows full well that nothing will come of his initiative. Hezbollah would have to cease to be Hezbollah, and since Hezbollah takes its marching orders from Iran, that ain't gonna happen.

As is true on a lot of issues, I agree with Stuart.

Let's be truthful for a change, the Maronites will not exist in the Middle East in a generation or two. Christianity is in decline.

Re: The Maronite Patriarch seeks dialogue with Hezbollah [Re: Apotheoun] #388117
11/13/12 05:55 PM
11/13/12 05:55 PM
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Shlomo Apotheoun,

The only way that we Maronites will not be in existance in a generation or two is that if all 2 million immigrate, that is not going to happen. Further, the Maronite Church is the largest landholder in Lebanon (1/3 of the country) so it does have the luxury of providing land et al for its people.

What needs to be done is for us in the West to support our own. We give way more to Israel than we do to our fellow Christians in the area; this needs to change.

Also, let us look at the present situation in the region. With the termoil in Syria, Hezbullah is losing its connection to Iran. Further, with Hezbullah fighters in Syria they are losing there also. Let us hope that more Hezbullah fighers go into Syria and fight.

Fush BaShlomo,
Yuhannon


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