Maronite's Bishop's Communique
for January13/1999

On Wednesday , January 13 , 1999 , their Excellencies the Maronite Bishops held their monthly meeting in Bkerki , with His Beatitude the Patriarch Nasrallah-Peter Cardinal Sfeir , presiding . They looked into church organizational and liturgical matters , and discussed the prevailing situation . At the end of the meeting , they issued the following communiqué :

1 – The measures being taken to reform the Administration , are causing ease . Yet , there is an apprehension that they will not reach every body , but will save some of those who have the luck of being protected . That will vitiate the whole of the reform process , for , before the law , all people are equal and there should be no partiality .

2 – Talks have started about a new parliamentary election law which is a matter to be welcomed ; but it must be fair , treating people equally as to the size of the constituencies , so that no parliamentarian will be winning with twenty thousand votes , whereas another one will be winning with one hundred thousand votes . The voters are to know their candidate , as well as, the candidate is to know his voters . The representatives of a section of the citizens should not be winning thanks to the votes of another section , imposing thus , its representatives on the former . Besides, this law project is to be given a wide range of discussions if the represantativity is to be  true .

3 – The social question which , until now , has not received the necessary concern , should be given priority .That requires the drawing of a plan for the return of the displaced to their locations , under the umbrella of the State , joining all of its ministries and capacities . This plan should also cover all the regions in order to encourage the inhabitants to go back to their villages , and limit the migration to the City already jammed with migrants yielding a balanced development .

4 - The events taking place in the South and the West Bekaa Valley , especially in the region of Jezzeen , are causing worry and deserve continued caution and the required care the inhabitants should be given so that they feel that the Government did not abandon them : they are its subjects , still attached to it , and it looks after them , especially in these very difficult circumstances they are living .

5 – As Lent is drawing near , the faithful are required to prepare themselves for practising it with a spirit of penance , especially during this year devoted to the Father , reconciliation and penitence within the preparation for the grand Jubilee of the year two thousand , as well as , to tightening the ties of solidarity which is indispensable to raising the society including all of its sections , and , consequently , to rebuilding the Country in its entirety .