Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi announced on Friday that during his long-awaited trip to Beirut in June, Pope Francis will make a strong statement on divisions among Lebanon’s political class, stressing that the Pontiff will bring with him a word of hope to the country.
The Patriarch visited President Michel Aoun at Baabda Palace on Friday.
“The Pontiff will bring with him a word of hope to Lebanon,” Rahi said.
Rahi noted the Lebanese are divided because there is something abnormal about their loyalty to Lebanon.
“I personally criticized naming the government a national unity cabinet because opponents cannot sit together. National unity is formed when understanding and reconciliation takes place on national affairs, while they call them controversial points,” he said.
The Patriarch reiterated his call on Lebanese officials to hold an international conference like the one that brought them together in Taif in 1989.
Rahi then said that the Lebanese do not want to sit at a table to diagnose the problem.
The Patriarch also called on the Lebanese to vote in the parliamentary elections next month, stressing that voting is a constitutional duty and is essential to produce change in the country.
Lebanon, home to one of the largest Christian communities in the Middle East, has been gripped by an unprecedented economic downturn since 2019, with more than 80 percent of the population now living in poverty.
The Pontiff, who has met Lebanon's president and prime minister in the Vatican in recent months, had previously promised to visit the country and repeatedly expressed concern over its worsening crises.