Beirut Archbishop criticizes leaders for neglecting the people's welfare
Aoude slams lack of unity among politicians
Archbishop criticizes leaders for neglecting the people's welfare
By Rita Boustani
Daily Star staff
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
BEIRUT: The Orthodox Archbishop of Beirut, Elias Aoude, accused both
loyalists and the opposition Sunday of neglecting the people's welfare and
chasing private interests.
Speaking during Easter Mass, Aoude slammed the lack of unity in both
parties, saying: "I don't see unity in this country ... I don't want to
cause the people to despair, but I feel disunity and collapse in political
The archbishop further denounced the lack of political vision and planning,
"as everybody is busy with the elections and they don't have time."
Aoude also came out against supporters of certain Christian political
parties who have raised party banners instead of Lebanon's national flag
during public events. "Only the Lebanese flag should be hoisted. Other flags
mean their wielders are loyal to their parties, not to Lebanon."
In a clear reference to supporters of the Lebanese Forces party and its use
of an altered cross as the party's symbol, Aoude added: "Leave the cross
alone. Christ has been crucified on the cross and I am willing to die on the
cross. It is a sacred religious emblem that must be kept out of partisan
The archbishop also denounced the shape of the LF cross. He said: "The cross
cannot be a dagger. The cross is not a tool for killing but a means of