The Daily Star
BEIRUT: Beirut Metropolitan Orthodox Archbishop Elias Audi expressed dismay Sunday over the country’s current social and political conditions, calling for a moral renaissance and asking people and politicians to stand together for the sake of a brighter future.On the occasion of Easter Sunday for Christian denominations that follow the Eastern calendar, Audi lamented the series of woes that has befallen the country.
“Are we not ashamed of what we hear daily of calamities? Buildings collapsing on their residents, spoiled food killing people, spoiled milk and rotten medicine, and no monitoring and no accountability?” he asked during his sermon at the St. George Orthodox Church in Downtown Beirut.
“What about what we hear of deals and commissions, the waste of public money, and corruption in administering our natural resources that plagues the administering of the state?” he asked.
Audi also said that it was time for the ambitions of Lebanese to transcend security and other basic needs.
“Lebanon is in need of a moral, cultural, social and political renaissance and must rise from this muddy quagmire in which it flounders,” he said, adding that the only way to achieve this is by people and officials coming together and learning from the mistakes of the past to build a better future.
The bishop also criticized opponents of a draft law aimed at protecting women from domestic violence, asking: “How can it be that in the 21st century a [draft] law combating the oppression of women and violence against them is rejected?”
He also bemoaned the lack of a proper educational system and health institutions and said that children have a fundamental right to live a decent life.
Separately, Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri Monday congratulated Elias Audi on Easter, according to his media office. He also contacted Deputy Parliament Speaker Farid Makari and Deputy Prime Minister Samir Moqbel, Hariri’s office said in a statement.