Loading
Stable democracy may lead Christians to return to Middle East, says patriarch

.- The spiritual leader for Maronite Catholics worldwide said working together toward democracy in the Middle East will encourage Lebanese citizens to invest in their former homeland and possibly to return when things in the region become more stable.

Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir, 86, is the patriarch of the worldwide 14-million member Maronite Catholic Church. He was at Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Chicago last week in conjunction with the national convention of the Maronite Catholic Church in the United States. The Maronite Church, present mostly in Lebanon, is an Eastern Rite that is obedient to the Pope but maintains distinctive liturgical traditions.

According to a report in the Chicago Tribute, the main theme of his talk was concern regarding the place of Christians in the Middle East, the relationship between Lebanese Muslims and Christians, and the delicate balance Lebanon faces in being a sovereign state between Syria and Israel.

Continuing unrest in the region and the inability to worship freely are making it more difficult to maintain a Christian presence in Lebanon as in the rest of the Middle East. The majority of Lebanon was once Catholic, but Muslims have recently taken over the majority. Many Lebanese Christians have emigrated over the last four or five decades.

Lebanon is seen by many as a country of hope for Christianity in the Middle East.

"Christians will stay in the Middle East if there is peace," Cardinal Sfeir reportedly told his audience. "If they migrate and go nearby to places like the Arab gulf, for instance, they can come back. But if they migrate to farther places like the United States, it is very difficult to return."

"Lots of Muslims love to have Christians living among them and they want to continue living together without any problems," the cardinal was quoted as saying.

"The ability to live together peacefully will involve each side letting the other worship God in his own manner," he said. "But we have to believe in democracy and in justice. Yet, as you know, there is no peace without justice.”

The cardinal, who has served as patriarch for Maronite Catholics for the last 20 years, also spoke favorably of the role of President George Bush in the removal of Syrian forces from Lebanon.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
18

Liturgical Calendar

April 18, 2014

Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Gospel
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 52:13-53:12
Second Reading:: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel:: Jn 18:1-19:42

Homily of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Homily
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: