Friday, 8 June 2012

Bridge building bishops

In meetings today in southern Lebanon - up in Beit Eddine, Chouf & then down in Saida (Sidon) - I heard about bridge-building efforts of the bishops.

Yesterday the three Bishops of Saida - Maronite, Melkite & Orthodox - met with two Muftis. They hold monthly meetings and discuss resolving problems and community issues. They are the community leaders who try to build Civil Society.

One Shiite joined us at lunch - he cooperates with the bishop - & many Sunnis say they want more Christians to return to south Lebanon.

Such bridge-building work demands a lot of the bishops. They also stress that catechetical instruction for the Christian young & families is vital - so that they can know their faith and witness to Jesus.

As tension, fear and anxiety grow over the possiblity of further conflict & violence overflowing into Lebanon from Syria, so the Bishops reiterated the request to unite with the Christian community here in prayer & solidarity.

Standing on the hill at the Shrine of Our Lady of Maghdousheh - looking down at the vast Palestinian refugee camp - the prayer is for peace & for God to bless these bridge-builders.

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