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Accueil arrow newsitems arrow Maronite Patriarch Rai to EF: Lebanon's Roots+Mission can be ReBorn by its People+World Community

Maronite Patriarch Rai to EF: Lebanon's Roots+Mission can be ReBorn by its People+World Community

Ecrit par ACM
Sunday, 04 July 2021
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/(Embargoed since 2/7/2021)- Replying to an "Eurofora" Question at a Video-Press Conference organized by "Oeuvre d' Orient" just after a Series of Exceptional High-Level Meetings at the Vatican, in Rome, with Pope Francis a.o., the Religious Leader of Maronite Chistians, (Historicaly Headquartered at the Lebanese Mountains), Boutros al-Rai, unvealed a Vibrant Belief for Lebanon's Capacity to be ReStructured and Saved from the Current Serious Crisis, thanks to its Solid Foundations and Deep Roots in History, as well as its Mission for the Middle East area and even the World, as he interestingly Highlighted, referring also to Pope Francis' latest Calls, (See Infra).

    Rai Described, Earlier, that those "Consultation" Meetings, that Pope Francis had Invited under the Name of "Reflexions on Lebanon", were mainly Composed by 3 Key-Parts of Presentations, (1) of the Current Political Situation, by the Catholic ArchiBishop, (2) of the Role and Engagement of the Christian Community for Lebanon, described by Rai himself, and (3) of the General Situation, by the Greek-Latins' Head, Followed by a landmark Speech by the Holy Father himself, (Giving us a "Complete RoadMap" for the ReVival of the Country, that we needed, "Encourgaging" and filling us with "Hope", Because it was "Wonderful" and "Prophetic", as Rai Enthousiaticaly felt, at his Return Back Home : See also Infra).

    The Organiser of Today's Press Conference, Experienced Mgr Pascal Gollnish, Director General of "Oeuvre d' Orient" ("Eastern Works"), a landmark 160 Years-Old Humanitarian Organisation, Founded on 1.856, (which had Started, precisely, by a Project to Help the current Lebanon's area, already then, Extending Afterwards to All Middle East, and Eastern Countries, including Asia, up to India, etc), had Invited Journalists, including "Eurofora", in order to take the pulse of the Current Realities, Since the 2020 Huge Explosion at Beirut's SeaPort, and the Governemental Crisis Before or After that, compared with the Historic but mostly Future-Oriented Approach of Both Pope Francis and the Spiritual Head of the Historic and influential Maronite Christian Community, notoriously Headquartered mainly on the splendid Mountains of the Country, where it reportedly represents Nowadays about 800.000 of Faithful, But has a very Strong "Diaspora", mainly in Europe, (France, Cyprus, etc), composed of almost 4 Millions of People, closely networked.

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-"Even if the Roots of Lebanese People are More Ancient, it's, notoriously, the Historic Peace Treaty of Sevres, on 1920-1921, which led to set up a Lebanese State, and Now is its over-Centenary Anniversary", "Eurofora" Observed from the outset, in our Question, - Obiously referring Also to that Key Central Part of Ancient Phoenicia, a Naval Netwok which Controled the Middle of the Mediterranean Sea, throughout Cyprus, Malta, Tunisia and Gibraltar areas, Contributed to the Creation of largely circulating Greek Alphabet (the English or French of Ancient Civilisations), the Legend of Europe, etc.

- But, "do You Believe that it's really Possible to SaveGuard the Unity of the Libanese People Nowadays, Despite of, and/or Because of the Recent Exceptional Difficulties, also given Your Optimism and Voluntarism, in order to have a Solid United State in the foreseable Future ?", We Asked Patriarch Boutros al-Rai.

- "This Question is Today even More Important, Not Only for Lebanon alone, but Also Because, currently, several Countries, (including Small but Strategic, Neighbouring Cyprus, where Many Maronite Christians are Traditionaly living, Facing Recently a Turkish Demand to Drop All UN SC Resolutions for a Peaceful ReUnification of the Island in order to Impose a Secessionist " Sovereign States" Partition, [See : ..., etc], but also Other States in that Region, or Elsewhere in the World), are Facing more or less Similar Challenges, Provoked by some, in one way or another", We pointed out, while Wishing him "Good Lack" for his Efforts.

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    - "Thank You", Maronite Christian Patriarch Boutros al-Rai, started to Reply to "Eurofora"s question : - "I am well Aware of the Current Difficulties for the ReConstuction of the Country", he stressed. But, "for Us, the Most Important are the Roots : The Roots which are Untouchable and Still Always there", he stressed.

    - "These are the Foundations of the Country, its Basement, which have Not been Harmed". On the Contrary, "whatever is Now that (2020) Crisis, is an Epiphenomenon, over our Current Situation", Rai Distinguished.

    => "That"s why, the Pope (Francis) Cited, in his Speach, "Lebanon's Symbol, the Cedar", saying that "the Branches are Growing Higher, where there are Deep Roots".
 

    >>> So, "We must Work Together with All the Lebanese People, and Not Only the Lebanese People : There is, Also, the International Community. With those Countries who interfere in the Libanese Issue. In order to Tell them, that We Must Work Together, in order to Save this Country, given its Values, for the whole Region", underlined the Spiritual Leader of the Strategicaly-Located and Only Country which, inter alia, has, Notoriously, Succeeded to Welcome Various Refugees from Syria and elsewhere, withOut Closing them inside Barbed Wire-covered "Camps", (as, f.ex., Turkey, at least "Initialy", etc), But Living mainly Together, Side by side, with the Local, Original Autochthon Population...

    + "And, also Myself, Despite Everything, I have the Hope that We Can Do something, Emerging from the Interior" of Lebanon, he naturaly added. "From All Components of the Country : Either Muslims, Or Christians".

    - "I Know that there are Many Difficulties. These Internal Difficulties, Political, Social, Communautarism, brought the Country in a Dramatic Situation" Now. (i.e., particularly Starting since Already Before the 2020 huge Explosion, inter alia, f.ex., reportedly : No properly Elected Government, a Currency which Lost about 90% of its value vis-a-vis the US Dollar $, near 50% of the People thrown Under the Poverty line, Electricity Problems, Security Threats, Popular UnRest, etc).  "But We Must Innovate and are Called to Work !".

     => "That's why I Reply to You, that, with Great Hopes, We are going to Re-Start the ReConstruction of this Country !", Boutros al-Rai Firmly Stressed.

    >>> "Why ? I Repeat : Because there are Foundations : It's Not an "Ab Novo" Creation of the Country. It's a Re-Structuring. A ReNovation of the Country. Lebanon has, Since its Establisment, Back on 1920 (i.e. after Sevres' Treaty : Comp. Supra), Up to 1975, was Nick-Named : -"Switzerland of the East"..., he Reminded. "There was Prosperity, Money, Development, Openings to All Countries. Because it was Founded on Solid Basis, Thanks to the French Mandate, (by the nearby Geneva-Based "League of Nations", Before New-York-Based "UNO"). That's Why we Can Recover".

    - Nowadays, "Lebanon is Sick. When there is Ilness, You Can Recover, You Cooperate with a Medical Doctor, in order to Find anew your Health. It's Not True that Lebanon would be Dead. It's Not Dead. It's Sick. Seriously Sick. But we Can Save it !", he Resumed, in a NutShell. "That's what I can Tell You, being Fully Convinced".  

    + "And what we have Seen and Heard from the Holy Father, (Pope Francis), and his Collaborators, (these Days at the Vatican, in Rome), Showed to us, that Lebanon is Needed, for the Middle-East Region, and Even the World, thanks to the Message and the Mission it Supports", the Spiritual Leader of the Strategicaly located Country of the Famous "Eternal Cedar" Majestic Mountainous Tree, Widely Concluded, including the manifold, Larger Issues at Stake, from the Ancient Phoenicians, to the Post-1920 Lebanese Key Crossroads, (allmost Meeting a Core-part of what "Eurofora" had Evoked, at the Beginning and the End of Our Question : Comp. Supra).

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    Indeed, at the End of Today's Press Conference, Patriarch Boutros al-Rai Stressed that he felt Necesay to Free Lebanon from some Foreign Interferences which Risked to Damage its Historic "Mission", to be a Pluralist and Open Democratic Country in the Middle East, for Both Christians and Muslims Together, without whom its Original Identity would Not Exist, as he Warned.

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    - Mgr Pascal Gollnish observed, reacting on that Key point, that, in Fact, Nowadays, "Lebanon is the Only Country in the Middle East which has a Full Religious Freedom : There is Not any Other like that, in this area", he found.

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    >>> Significantly, Pope Francis' above-mentioned Landmark Speech, during the recent Ecumenical Vatican Meetings on Lebanon, (Comp. Supra), devoted to "Plans for Peace, Together for Lebanon", calls the Country "a Singular experience of Peaceful CoSxistence", in addition tion to "a treasury of Civilization and spirituality that has radiated wisdom and culture down the Centuries", as "a Small, yet Great Country" with "a Universal Message of Peace and Fraternity, arising from the Middle East". "Lebanon is, and must remain, a Project of Peace. Its vocation is to be a land of Tolerance and Pluralism, an Oasis of Fraternity where Different Religions and confessions Meet, where different Communities Live Together, putting the Common Good" Above all, he stressed, (after Criticizing "the Mistakes that we have made", and "the Opportunities that we have Missed, along the Path to Fraternity, ReConciliation and Unity").

    => "Stop Using Lebanon and the Middle East for Outside Interests and Profits ! The Lebanese People must be given the Opportunity to be the Architects of a better Future in their land, withOut Undue Interference", Pope Francis urged.

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    -"The Symbol of the Country : ...Tall Cedars, evoke ... a Unique History", and "that Large Branches can only Grow from Deep Roots", he reminded, pointing at "those ...who saw in Diversity Not Obstacles, but Possibilities, and could, thus, Build Common Foundations". For that purpose, "Sink your Roots in their Dreams of Peace !", the Holy Father called the Lebanese. "Recently, we Realized, "that we canNot Save ourselves Alone or remain Indifferent to the Problems of Others". That "there canNot be Peace withOut Justice", he said. While "Christians, today,... wish to ...Build a Future Together", "called to be Sowers of Peace, and Builders of Fraternity", since "God ...is a Father who Desires his Children to live in Peace". I.e. "Ensuring our Muslim Brothers and Sisters, and those of Other Religions, of (Christians') openness and readiness to Work Together in building Fraternity and promoting Peace", "Despite the Misunderstandings and Hurts of the Past", but "journeying From Conflict to Unity”, (as Francis has Recently Called, in his landmark Address to the InterReligious Meeting at the Plain of Ur, Abraham's Historic Home, during the pontifical Trip to Iraq : See ..., etc). "Hoping" for "concrete Initiatives under the aegis of Dialogue, of efforts to Educate, and of Solidarity". "In the Night of Crisis, ... remain United. Together, through honest Dialogue and Pure Intentions, we can Bring Light Where there is Darkness", he invitef.

    => Thus, the Lebanese "Citizens", would "Find in the Roots of (their) History, the Hope of a New Flowering". The "Political Leaders" should "Find Urgent and Durable Solutions, to the current Economic, Social and Political Crisis", and "the International Community" should "create conditions... so that the Country will Not Collapse, But embark upon a Path of Recovery", which "will be to Everyone's Advantage".

    As World-Famous Lebanese "Poet Gibran" had said : "Byond the Black Curtain of the Night, there is a Dawn, that Awaits us", topically reminded Pope Francis. In such a Context, "Young People are ...Lamps Burning Brightly at this Dark Hour... Before making important Decisions, ... Look to their Hopes and Dreams". "Women Generate Life and Hope ...May they be ...Included in Decision-making processes ". And "the Elderly ... are Our Roots, ...they Give us the Sense of History, the Foundations ... to carry Forward. They Desire to Dream, once More : ...Listen to their Voices, so that ...their Dreams may Become Prophecy", he suggested.  As that Poet said, "there is no other way to come to the Dawn than by passing Through the Night" : "May the Night of Conflicts recede before a New Dawn of Hope. May Hostilities Cease, Disagreements Fade away, and Lebanon, once more, Radiate the Light of Peace, Pope Francis concluded.

 

(../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

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(Opinion)

Paris - Bruxelles - Strasbourg, 2 septembre 2008

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Le spectaculaire succès du Président français, Nicolas Sarkozy, (en tête de l'UE jusqu'a décembre), à obtenir de suite un cessez le feu inattendu entre la Russie et la Georgie, immédiatement après sa visite aux Présidents Medvedev et Saakashvili, au pire moment de tensions et heurts violents meurtieurs, qui avaient tué plusieurs innocents et provoqué le deplacement forcé de réfugiés par milliers, lui donne incontestablement une stature vraiment européenne :

A ses liens personnels bien connus avec l'Hongrie, la Grece, l'Italie ou l'Espagne, en sus de son amitié avec la chancelière allemande Merkel, son souhait d'essayer d'attirer l'Angleterre au jeu européen, etc, s'y ajoute, maintenant, une réussite, fragile certes, mais importante, au combat pour la Paix dans la "grande" Europe du général De Gaulle, "jusqu'a l'Oural", qui inclut naturellement la Géorgie, l'Arménie et d'autres pays, et ne peut exister qu'avec rapports de confiance et partenartiat stratégique avec la Russie.

Apres avoir réussi à debloquer la situation au Liban, (pays avec liens culturels historiques en Europe), lors du Sommet pour la Méditerranée à Paris, juillet dernier, (comme atteste maintenant le prémier accord d'echange d'Ambassadeurs avec la Syrie), Sarkozy activa maintenant une présidence française de l'EU bien entreprenante, à l'autre bout de l'Europe, à Moscou, où, contrairement à Napoléon, il a été reçu avec soulagement par le nouveau président russe, ami de l'experimenté Vladimir Poutine.

Cet homme politique rélativement nouveau au plan politique européen, avec une vision souvent critique ou même critiquée, à tort ou a raison, mais ambitieuse et concrete a la fois, qui aime s'adresser aux "Européens", comme il dit, n'est-il pas bien placé pour stimuler le fameux débat sur l' "Identité de l' Europe", qu'il a proposé au Parlement Européen récemment à Strasbourg, moins d'un an avant les Elections européennes de 2009 ?

En 2007, il a réussi à faire monter spectaculairement la participation citoyenne aux élections présidentielles en France, obtenant des récords historiques :

N'est-ce pas, justement ce que l' Europe a bésoin, apres 2 abstentions majoritaires sans précedent aux Elections de 1999 et 2004, et 3 "Non" aux réferenda pour ses institutions en 2005 et 2008, pendant une décennie trouble 1999-2008, (marquée surtout par la demande controversée de la Turquie d'entrer dans l'UE eclipsant les avancées de la Monnaie unique et de la liberté de circulation à l'espace Shengen, avec consequences mal-ressenties par la majorité des citoyens, bien au-délà des clivages du passé), qui a failli stopper l'integration européenne ?

Et cela, au moment même ou une globalisation galopante met l'Europe devant un choix crucial entre saut qualitatif en avant, apte à valoriser une occasion historique exceptionelle à se développer résolument, après les vaines destructions, querelles et tensions des guerres "chaudes" ou "froides" qui lui ont couté son rang dans le Monde, ou réculer définitivement en décadence...

Alors, que certains de nos amis à la Commission en Bruxelles, lui laissent au moins un peu d'espace de mouvement, et qu'ils l'aident à tenter d'insufler de l' oxygène frais et vivifiant aux rapports entre les citoyens et une Europe qui a manifestement bésoin et mérite de retrouver d'urgence un nouveau dynamisme populaire, avec un souci de réalisme mais aussi une vision passionante pour son avenir !

Après tout, les Etats Unis d' Amérique ne se sont pas faits à coups de bureaucratie, nécessaire et utile, mais manifestement insuffisante : Sans l'impulsion d'hommes politiques originaux, d'intellectuels vraiment engagés, et, surtout, sans l'enorme énergie émanant de la conscience d'enjeux à la fois pratiques et grandioses, bien resentis par des millions de citoyens, stimulant leur adhésion active comme pioniers d'un nouveau avenir commun à construire, ils seraient encore une ex-colonie périphérique, affaiblie par stériles divisions, passif et impuissant spectateur des convulsions tragiques d'un Monde à la dérive...

Que les vrais "européens" ré-lisent au moins les fameux discours historiques sur l' Europe d'un Sarkozy bien inspiré à Strasbourg, aussi bien avant qu'après avoir gagné les élections françaises, le 21 février et le 2 juillet 2007, après son 1er sommet des Bruxelles, qui a adopté le nouveau Traité de l'UE en conclusion de la presidence allémande : Bonnes lectures pour cet été 2008, afin de préparer l' avenir qui s'ouvrira (ou fermera) à partir des élections européennes de 2009.

Peut-etre revelera-t-il plus, en ce sens, lors de ses 2 discours-debats prochains avec les eurodeputés, prévus lors des sessions plenières du Parlement Européen a Strasbourg en octobre et décembre 2008... 

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Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner had already unveiled President Sarkozy's intentions, during a particularly "hot" Press Conference in Paris, where he faced some's insistance for "sanctions", with a call for "a common EU stance". In the meanwhile, he was consulting "all these days" most of his EU, Russia and Georgia counterparts, (as Sarkozy's Spokesman, P-J. Henin confirmed to "EuroFora"). This allowed him to obtained the desired result, as EU Chairman, at a short, exceptional EU Summit in Brussels, afterwards.

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But, Sarkozy's No 1 official, Presidential palace's Secretary General Claude Gueant, active at Elysee during the 2008 Ambassadors' Conference, (together with his Top Diplomat, the experienced David Levitte), is well known for having an overall view : A link with 2009 EU Elections at the horizon ?

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