BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Patriarch Beshara Rai inaugurated Sunday in Bucharest Saint Charbel Church, the first Maronite Catholic church in Eastern Europe, the National News Agency reported.
Before heading a Mass for the inaugural, Rai took part in a dove release ceremony outside the church where a traditional Romanian dance piece was also performed.
During the ceremonial Mass, Rai used the occasion to reiterate his call for the formation of a new government in Lebanon at the soonest possible period.
"In the name of the Lebanese community and the Arab community in Romania, we ask officials and politicians to hurry up today before tomorrow and form a new unifying cabinet capable of facing the current challenges,” he said, according to the state-run agency.
Rai said officials had no right to “disrupt Lebanon's role in the Arab world,” which he said was based on a political system that maintained a separation of church and state while respecting religious diversity.
“Lebanon’s role requires a political, economic and ethical force on the Mediterranean that strengthens ties between Europe and the Arab world,” he added.
The patriarch also demanded an end to the sectarian-political conflict in Lebanon in which sects sought to dominate political decision-making in the country.
“The heterogeneous groups seek to create a nation that can attain its ambitions and goal ... and this can only be reached via sound political thinking rather than conflicts,” he said.
During his stay in Bucharest, Rai held several meetings and met with Patriarch Daniel of the Romanian Orthodox Church.