Sfeir: Regardless of their Sect, Lebanese People Cannot Say they are Deeply Divided
(Retrieved from Naharnet on March 6, 2011)
Outgoing Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir stated on Sunday that the Lebanese people, regardless of which sect they belong to, cannot say that they are deeply divided as "they are all indebted to Lebanon."
He stressed to MTV that Lebanon is currently better off than some Arab countries, adding that it will "always remain the safest and most peaceful nation in the region."
The patriarchate will remain in the country's service, especially the Maronites, he stated.
Sfeir thanked God for having been able to serve the Lebanese people, calling on them to have faith and gratitude in God.
"We have sought to treat all Lebanese fairly and equally," he concluded.
After the interview, the patriarch headed a mass marking the 1600th jubilee of Saint Maroun's death.
Sfeir Honored: I Pray that Bishops Make the Right Choice on New Patriarch
(Retrieved from Naharnet on Saturday March 5, 2011)
President Michel Suleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri and Premier-designate Najib Miqati attended a ceremony and mass in Bkirki on Saturday in honor of Outgoing Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir.
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri represented Pope Benedict XVI at the event held on the occasion of Sfeir's 25-year tenure. Ministers, MPs and other officials were also present.
The Papal ambassador to Lebanon, Gabriel Caccia, said during the mass that Lebanon won't be able to become strong and a mediator for peace in the world without the Christian presence in the country.He also lauded Sfeir for his role in consolidating national identity in Lebanon.The outgoing patriarch prayed during the mass for bishops to make the right choice in the election of the new leader of the Maronite church and thanked the officials for their presence."I ask forgiveness from those who thought that I offended them in any way," he said.For the first time in 25 years, Sfeir didn't issue a message of lent given that the patriarchate is busy with preparations to elect a new patriarch. Sfeir, who is 90 years old, asked to be relieved of his post because of his age, and the pope accepted the resignation last week.The Synod of bishops will begin meetings to elect a new leader on March 9.Meanwhile, Caretaker Ministers Fadi Abboud and Youssef Saadeh left the mass as soon as it started over the alleged adoption of wrong seating protocol at the church. Caretaker Minister Jebran Bassil did not attend the mass. Following closed-door talks between Miqati and Sfeir, the premier-designate said the outgoing patriarch has been keen on the unity of the land and the people, Miqati said.