Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai(R). REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
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Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai traveled to Sidon's Archbishopric for an unannounced weekend visit, amid an atmosphere of tension in the local administration.Though the visit was made out of the public eye, informed sources told The Daily Star that Rai's visit comes as the relationship between the diocese pastor, Bishop Elias Nassar, and several fathers and priests has become increasingly strained. This tension is a result of what the fathers and priests consider to be Nassar's individualistic action with regard to the diocese's endowment and the projects it supports. This issue was preceded by a row between Nassar and Jezzine's Maronite Parish which reportedly arose after Nassar moved to control the parish's endowment.According to sources, Rai visited Sidon in order to put an end to the dispute between Nassar and the pastor, which his permanent envoy to the archdiocese, Maronite Bishop Boulos Matar, has so far been unable to solve.
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