BEIRUT: Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai called Sunday for Christian-Muslim collaboration for the construction of a tolerant, pluralistic society in Lebanon, the National News Agency reported.
“We acknowledge the role assigned to us as Christians, [which is] to continue, with our Muslim brothers, the construction a culture of moderation, acceptance of the different other, freedom of religion and belief and pluralism in the age of globalization,” Rai said during Sunday’s Mass in Bkirki.
Rai prayed for the protection of the “Lebanese society” from “the evil of those who mess with its security and institutions and from the phenomenon of violence and car bombs."
The patriarch talked about two extreme doctrines endangering pluralistic societies around the world including Lebanon.
From one side, there are “religious [political] systems that attempt to eliminate the different other, and to impose its faith, traditions and laws over him,” he explained.
On the other hand, he added, “there are the secular atheist systems that dismiss God from the life of the society and state, legitimizing whatever it wants, regardless of God’s natural law.”
Rai said that Lebanon witnesses both of these doctrines and that each should be confronted in accordance with the Lebanese Constitution.
Rai also celebrated Father’s Day by honoring Christian fathers and families in a ceremony in the Lady of Resurrection Church.