.- In public statements expressing gratitude for the expressions of solidarity with the Lebanese people, the leader of the Maronite Catholics in Argentina, Bishop Charbel Merhi, said Lebanon, “will also overcome this violence and achieve peace because God put it in the region to be a messenger of peace, as John Paul II said.”
“Lebanon has been around for six thousand years,” the bishop said. “In its long history it has gone through difficult times like those of today, but it always overcame all feelings of hatred and terrible persecutions.”
He noted that in order to achieve peace, “sometimes it is necessary to travel down the way of the cross. The peace of the Resurrection of Jesus came through the passion and death on the Cross,” he stated.
“Pray to God and to his Mother Mary for Lebanon and for us, so that so many innocents will no longer suffer. We place everything in the hands of Jesus and Mary and we are sure that like the phoenix, Lebanon will rise gloriously from the ashes,” Bishop Merhi said.
The first Maronite Catholics came to Argentina in 1901. Bishop Charbel Georges Merhi became the first Maronite bishop in the country in 1990, when he was appointed by Pope John Paul II.