BEIRUT: Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai called on the government to take care of the poor in order to enhance their feeling of belonging to Lebanon, and expressed regret that politicians cared only for their private interests.
“Among one of the first duties of the government should be to take care of the poor and the needy, so that they will feel the value of belonging to their nation and be proud of it,” Rai said after holding a Mass at Bkirki to mark the start of Lent.
Rai complained that officials only cared for their personal interests, and constitutional institutions are almost not functioning. He said that all this leads to the deterioration of the socio-economic conditions in the country.
The patriarch noted that the Lent period is that of “change and repairing ties between each other, especially on economic and social levels.”
“We are all invited to give to charity as much as we can afford, to help our sisters and brothers, the poor,” he added.
Rai said that charity was motivated by love and justice. “This is our biblical culture and the teachings of our church.”
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 20, 2012, on page 4.