Patriarch Rai wraps up Shouf visit by meeting Jumblatt


Christian Maronite Patriarch Beshara Al-Rai concluded his 2 day visit to the Shouf region by meeting with National Struggle Front leader MP Walid Jumblatt at the Moukhtara mansion.

Addressing the Patriarch, Jumblatt said: “We are following up on all your movements and your quest to consolidate coexistence and reconciliation”.

For his part, Rai said that his visit aims at completing the reconciliation between the Shouf residents, stressing that coexistence between Christians and Muslims is the foundation of reconciliation.

“I am committed with you to complete this reconciliation with a spirit of partnership and love,” Rai told Jumblatt.

The Christians seek national unity through a civil state that respects all religions and aspire for freedoms and absolute loyalty to the nation, Rai said and added.

“We seek through the goodwill of others to reach reconciliation on all Lebanese territories.”

Rai stressed that he is seeking to achieve unity in “a civil and democratic state that separates between religion and politics”, adding “I aspire for a new electoral law that would guarantee the citizens’ right to choose their representatives and hold them accountable”.

Earlier on Sunday, the Patriarch headed a mass in St. Anthony the Great Church in Fouwara where he was welcomed by residents. He held high hopes that the apostolic exhortation that Pope Benedict XVI would deliver during his upcoming visit to Lebanon would usher the way for a Christian Spring that would lead to a “true Arab Spring.”

“We call upon all of you to welcome the Pope and share in the celebrations,” said Rai in front of a crowd of high-ranking officials.

The pope visits Lebanon on the occasion of the signature and publication of the Post-Synodol Apostolic Exhortation of the 1st special assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops, according to a statement by the Vatican

LBC/ Agencies