Rome Newsroom, Aug 10, 2020 / 09:30 am America/Denver (CNA).
Lebanon’s Maronite Catholic patriarch called for the resignation of the entire Lebanese government Sunday, following the devastating explosion in Beirut last week.
“The angry protest movements we witnessed yesterday confirms the impatience of the oppressed and humiliated Lebanese people, and indicates the determination to change for the better,” Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai said in his homily Aug. 9.
“The resignation of a deputy from here and a minister from there is not sufficient. Rather, out of sensitivity to the feelings of the Lebanese and the grave responsibility, the government must reach the resignation of the entire government, as it has become unable to advance the country, and to hold early parliamentary elections,” the Lebanese cardinal said.
Rai called for an international investigation into the explosion at Beirut’s port that killed at least 155 people and injured about 5,000 others. On Aug. 4 a fire that started near the port’s large grain silos spread to a warehouse holding 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer that can be made into an explosive. The ensuing explosion’s shockwave caused damage within a six-mile radius.
The patriarch said that the Lebanese people have a right to know why huge amounts of explosive materials had been kept for six years in the dangerous place in the capital. He said it is “necessary to hold everyone responsible accountable for this massacre and catastrophe.”