From Kaslik to Bkerke: The state without a head

Alan Sarkis wrote in “Call of the Nation”:

Today, Lebanon celebrates “Good Friday” among the sects that follow the Western calendar, and all hope is for the resurrection of the Land of the Cedars from among the crises and turmoil. The scene will move between the burial of Christ today in Kaslik, where the leaders of the state will meet, and the Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi’s celebration of the Eid Mass on Sunday morning in Bkerke. Lebanon celebrates Easter amid fears that the war will expand south. What is striking in this country is that whenever a major crisis arises, it erases all the crises that preceded it. The concern of the Lebanese citizen is no longer the deepening economic and financial crisis, but rather the specter of war that is rising from the south and threatening the country with great destruction.

Amidst all the tragedies, attention will focus on the burial ceremony of Christ at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik. Kaslik was chosen since the days of the war to witness the central revival of the most important order among Christians, following the role of the monks, led by the Lebanese Maronite Order, in the war and supporting the steadfastness of society. The biggest absentee from the Kaslik rank will be the President of the Republic, and this matter does not only affect Christians, but every Lebanese. The Lebanese Maronite monasticism will demonstrate its ability to bring the state together, but the limits of this gathering do not go beyond the spiritual to the political, because the political decision has been in the hands of the Maronite Patriarch since 1986, with the cover of the Vatican, after the monks returned to the monasteries and the end of the resistance work.

In this circumstance, the monastic focus is on saving institutions and society alike, and despite the criticism directed at some monastic institutions, no one denies the role of these institutions in creating a modern Lebanon that is losing its identity and turning into another country. Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rai feels that a great danger to identity and entity is approaching, so he wrote the clause about preserving the country’s identity and not turning it into a religious country in the Bkerke Document, which the Christian forces are discussing and which the Patriarch personally supervises.

The monastic orders’ distancing themselves from political action does not mean abandoning the national role. Distributing the roles between the monastic orders and Bkerke, with the blessing of the Vatican, leads to steadfastness and facilitates the task of getting out of the depths. Politics will not be absent from the Eid Mass in Bkerke and the meetings, even if the Patriarch meets the Christian forces in Bkerke, but the Eid opportunity will constitute an occasion during which the shepherd will meet state officials from all walks of life.

On Eid, he will attend the presidency file and all the challenges, the first of which is the danger of extending the war in the south. Of course, the national partnership file will be a priority, especially if caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati visits Bkerke to greet the Patriarch on Eid. But Bkerke still believes, despite Mikati and some parties’ transgressions, that completing the partnership Patriotism cannot be achieved without electing a new president of the republic. When the president is elected, everything returns to normal and no one can talk about injustice or exclusion.

The tone of the Sunday sermon in Bkerke will not be less than the previous sermons, as the church considers that the country has reached a dangerous crossroads and the continuation of previous policies will widen the extent of the distance between the Lebanese and accelerate the process of collapse, and from here the shepherd will stress the necessity of rapid action. From the Palestine war to the situation in Lebanon in all its aspects, all the way to the Christian situation in Lebanon and the region and the atmosphere surrounding the Land of the Cedars, topics that will be present Friday in Kaslik and Saturday in the Easter message that the Patriarch will recite and Sunday in the holiday mass.

The country has entered the holiday period, and therefore nothing important will happen before the end of the holiday period, but as it seems, matters are placed in the refrigerator until the interior is convinced of the solutions and there are developments abroad that speed up the process of electing a president and setting a road map for a solution.

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