Aoudeh during the memorial Mass marking Tueni’s assassination commemoration: The country is ruled by a group with weapons

Beirut’s Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Archbishop Elias Aoudeh presided over a memorial Mass service at St. George’s Cathedral in downtown Beirut this morning, marking the fourteenth commemoration of the martyrdom of Gibran Tueni and his two companions.

In his homily, Aoudeh paid tribute to the memory of Martyr Tueini, recalling the true essence of his words that still reflect on our present times. “To believe that the true word does not die, but resonates stronger, listen to what Gibran said many years ago, as if to describe the present situation in our beloved country, which was distorted by the hand of corruption, betrayal and repression,” he said.

“What remains of the truth, service, humility, deliberation, transparency, justice, openness, democracy and freedom, what is left of it in our country?” questioned Aoudeh, criticizing the current rulers for adopting the ways of “totalitarian regimes with their one-party system.”

“How long are we to continue paying the price for internal and external polarizations? How long are we to continue wasting opportunities? How long will the people remain captive to the policy of an extremist party?” Aoudeh went on to question. “This country is ruled by a person you all know and by a group that governs us with arms!” he exclaimed.

The Archbishop considered that for a citizen’s identity to be preserved, the country must be preserved. “Today, unfortunately, Lebanon pays the price of the mistakes committed by a corrupt and bankrupt political class,” he said, adding, “Had it not been for the people who held on to their identity, Lebanon would have been lost a long time ago.”

“The Lebanese people have demonstrated their ability to preserve the country and identity after the many struggles it has gone through…We must learn to belong to the homeland and a new political class must be created,” he emphasized.

Bishop Aoudeh hailed the Lebanese youth’s uprising under the country’s national flag, and slogans of achieving social justice, anti-corruption, accountability, liberation of the judiciary from political interference, and forming a min-government of specialists with integrity and competence. “Are these mere fictitious demands, or are they the simplest things required to build a state?” he wondered.

“The Lebanese people take pride in being a peaceful people, whose weapons are unity, faith, honesty and truth, especially their steadfastness in the face of conspiracies and attempts to sow discord and despair in souls,” the Bishop maintained.

“Birth, my dear ones, is preceded by a painful labor, and the birth of a new Lebanon is approaching,” he said.

“It is a question of will, above all, the will to sacrifice, the will to abandon selfishness and personal interests, the will to open up to the other and extend the hand of dialogue and the determination to reach for what unites rather than highlight the differences,” stressed Aoudeh. “Our country is in conflict and is waiting for a heroic act to save it,” he underscored.

Source: National News Agency