Saturday, July 22, 2006

Lebanon

From Rome: "The Holy Father is following with great concern the destinies of all the peoples involved and has proclaimed this Sunday, July 23, as a special day of prayer and penance, inviting the pastors and faithful of all the particular Churches, and all believers of the world, to implore from God the precious gift of peace. . . .In reality, the Lebanese have the right to see the integrity and sovereignty of their country respected, the Israelis the right to live in peace in their State, and the Palestinians have the right to have their own free and sovereign homeland."

Christian Lebanese Caught in the Crossfire. Lebanese Christians who have been the staunchest backers of Israel and the Bush administration are perplexed with Israeli shelling of their homes and businesses as the Jewish state attempts to defeat Hezbollah.

The Melkite Catholic Archbishop of Acca, Haifa, Nazareth and all Galilee appeals for help for his desparate people. "The whole Galilee region is practically paralysed,” the archbishop wrote, “(there are) no jobs, no circulation, and people stay at home waiting for deliverance and sometimes receiving a rocket. . . . Archbishop Chacour further explains, “most of the Jewish brothers and sisters have shelters against bombs which the Arab villages have not.” “Others,” he said, “escape to Tel Aviv, which is not possible for us Arabs.”

Maronite Catholic bishops called for a ceasefire, humanitarian corridors and solidarity. An immediate ceasefire and the opening of humanitarian corridors; condemnation of the Israeli invasion but also of the policy of kidnappings; backing for the government and an invitation to all parties to search for unity of intent; unity with the Pope for the day of prayer for peace in Lebanon, slated for tomorrow. These were the points of a statement issued by the Maronite bishops at the end of an urgent meeting called by Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir.

And "Where Are the Christians?" asks Pat Buchanan. Why is Pope Benedict virtually alone among Christian leaders to have spoken out against what is being done to Lebanese Christians and Muslims?