Patriarch Raï: The EU’s Position Is Paving the Way for Criminals

Source: FSSPX News

The Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Béchara Boutros Raï, on May 12, 2024, attacked those European countries which refuse to “cooperate with Lebanon” to resolve the Syrian migrants issue. He believes that “they are paving the way for criminals and terrorists.”

Patriarch Béchara Raï expressed his frustration at the “lack of cooperation from European countries and other countries of the world with Lebanon” on the issue of Syrian refugees and migrants.

Cardinal Raï said in particular that he regretted “the lack of cooperation from European and Western countries with Lebanon to resolve the problem of migrants and ensure their return to their country,” in reference to the sum of one billion euros allocated, on May 2, by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, during a visit to Lebanon.

This financial aid is allocated in order to support the country. “The money will help Lebanon strengthen basic services such as education, social welfare, and health, and boost economic reforms in the crisis-hit country,” von der Leyen said, with the aim being preventing an increase in the number of refugees leaving the country for Europe.

But the patriarch protests: “These countries continue to exploit this issue for political purposes in Syria, and refuse to separate the political problem from the return of Syrians. As a result, they are subjecting Lebanon to this burden and its dangerous repercussions, unaware that they are paving the way for criminals and terrorists whose favorite terrain will be these same European countries.” 

In his homily on Sunday, May 12, 2024, Patriarch Raï also affirmed that “the situation in the region requires the presence of a President of the Republic.” The presidential vacancy has continued since the October 31, 2022 end of the mandate of the former head of state, Michel Aoun.

Patriarch Raï also criticized the Moumanaa axis, without naming it, which “blocks the election of a President of the Republic.” For him, these parties “do not want a head of state, since they are taking advantage of his absence to further consolidate their power and continue to manipulate the population, its destiny, and the Constitution.”

“The moumanaa – which sometimes translates as obstinacy – is primarily a strategic trick of the Syrian regime since the time of Hafez el-Assad. It aims to keep the country in a state of war, in the name of a fight against Israel… without having any intention of conducting it,” according to L’Orient-Le-Jour.

Cardinal Raï thus called on these officials “not to divert attention from the fundamental and vital necessity for Lebanon to elect a head of state, so that Parliament and the government can recover their prerogatives in accordance with the Constitution.”