The Maronite League & Michel
By: Elias Bejjani
LCCC Media Chairman
We wonder how could the hierarchy of the Maronite Church jeopardize the noble, patriotic, sovereign, humanitarian and religious objectives and mission of the Maronite League that safeguards the identity, roots, history, faith and independence of the Maronite nation? How can Maronites all over the world accept a heretic decision that apparently is putting the Maronite League in a bizarre situation where its mandate becomes to divide not to unite, to scatter not to gather, to advocate surrender not resistance, and preach hatred instead of peace, love and forgiveness.
One wonders and strongly questions the logic that could justify the appointment of Mr. Michel Edde as president for the Maronite League. Although the man is notorious for his open anti-Semitic and pro-Syrian stances. Mr. Edde is a stanched supporter and advocate for the Syrian Baathist regime that has been conspiring against the Maronites and oppressing them, and working hard to destroy their culture, identity, and freedom, and forcing them to leave Lebanon.
How could any Maronite in occupied Lebanon or in the Diaspora quietly acquiesce to such an appointment that aims to poison the Maronite League, the torch bearer for a respectable name and an endorser of noble objectives?
How could the Maronites remain silent while seeing this important institution of theirs being slaughtered by their enemies and turned against their historic hopes and values?
How could the Maronites remain silent while the superiors of their Church, and by either ignorance or deliberate collusion, hand over one of their vital institutions on a plate of silver to an individual who brags of his enmity to another people and pretends to be an expert reference in the areas of fanaticism and hatred?
Is this the Maronite Church's message to the free world in general and to the United States in particular? Wouldn't such an image of a hostile and brazenly bigotted Maronite League leadership kill their sympathy, support and understanding for a free, independent and sovereign Lebanon?
How could they help us free Lebanon from the Syrian occupation while seeing to it that Mr. Edde takes under his Baathist and pro-Arab custody one of the most important Maronite institution? How could they trust a man who serves and advocates with no shame for the Syrian Baathist insidious schemes against Lebanon as a self-standing entity and as an independent and sovereign country?
Is there any other logical or practical explanation for Mr. Edde's appointment except than giving this man a golden opportunity to tie up this Maronite institution with the Syrian Baathist cloaks of dhimmitude, marginalization , and annihilation ?
We are sure that there isn't one Maronite who does not long for a strong, cohesive, and peaceful Maronite community and a free multi-cultural, independent Lebanon, and who would not feel threatened by Michel Edde, with his well-known ideology, philosophy and hostile positions that will destroy the Maronite League from within.
We strongly believe that Maronites all over the world have an obligation to protest loudly against Mr. Edde's appointment and make their legitimate concerns known to the Maronite Church hierarchy. We all should never forget that Jesus Christ, our Savior, has taught us to witness for the truth.
Patriotic Lebanese will never forget Mr. Edde's public notorious shameless statement: " I am more than ready and willing to throw myself in front of the Syrian tanks in case the Syrian leadership decides to withdraw its army from Lebanon"
Some might say the Church superiors know better than anybody else what is good or harmful for its affairs, and accordingly, their righteous vision for things should be not challenged. This argument is based on the assumption that the kind of data and information that is available to them is not accessible for us the lay Maronites. Many others would go further to say that the superiors are fully aware of the consequences of their decisions that aim to protect the Church and immunize it against hardships and danger.
With our full respect to these superiors, and quite frankly, we have started to question this kind of inherited blind argument that is not convincing anymore. We are suspicious and extremely concerned for the ongoing degraded and scary status of the Maronites on all levels and all domains. This status is changing to the worse while many of our Maronite convictions are trashed and betrayed in front of our eyes. This current status is much worst than the one inflicted on us during the traumatic Ottoman occupation era and all the Arabization, alienation, and Ottomanization campaigns that we were exposed to during the last 1500 years.
We strongly believe that the kind of administrative means our church superiors have been adopting for the last 15 years are not reassuring at all, but in fact are extremely dangerous. They need to be re-evaluated, and even revoked in a bid to safeguard our Church from potentially devastating effects and hazardous consequences that undoubtedly will reflect negatively on the Maronites, not only in occupied Lebanon but also in the Diaspora. The appointment of Mr. Edde will undoubtedly negatively affect the Maronite's image as a patient, faithful, peaceful, tolerant, civilized, and peace-loving people.
His Beatitude Patriarch Sfier said in one of his sermons: "We shall remain in Lebanon because we believe in Almighty God, in our cause and trust each other".
Inspired by this statement of solid faith and trust we call on our Patriarch to resort to his deeply rooted wisdom and discretion and revoke the appointment of Mr. Edde as president for the Maronite League. We call on him to pick another person to fill this position. An individual who is actually and genuinely fit for such responsibilities, especially that our community is extremely rich with such honest, educated and highly devoted people.
Love does not rejoice with injustice, but with righteousness. Jesus Christ has taught us to witness for the truth and defend it no matter what are the consequences. We should never also forget that he who does not witness for the truth is a silent devil.
Because trees are known by their fruits, and people by their acts and beliefs, we call on our Church superiors to immediately block Mr. Edde's appointment.
Lebanon's late resistance poet, Youssef Habouk once said:
If you kill my people, then please kill me too
For my singing away from my flock is mere crying.
May Almighty God help those who still have attentive ears to hear our cries for justice.