The Maronite Bishops of Lebanon last week called for an immediate cease-fire in the war between Israel and Hamas so that a “two-state solution” could move forward.
The bishops also denounced a group aligned with the country’s Islamist militant terror organization Hezbollah for calling for an investigation into two Catholic bishops for allegedly committing treason by meeting with the president of Israel.
In a Jan. 3 statement the bishops said they “condemn the sporadic prolonged reckless and shameful behavior attacking the Christian clergy serving in the Holy Land.”
The statement said that there is no need for any of the Lebanese clergy “to justify any of those clergies’ spiritual, national, or human behaviors that are always inspired by the teachings of the Savior, not by the human emotions.”
The Maronite bishops released the statement following their Jan. 3 meeting in Bkerke, the See of the Maronite Patriarchate.
Bishops criticize Israel for part in war
Shortly after the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza began in October, Hezbollah and Israel began exchanging missile strikes across the Lebanese-Israeli border. The fighting on the border has caused the displacement of almost all of southern Lebanon’s Christians and tens of thousands of Israelis living in the northern part of their country.
The fighting in Gaza has resulted in more than 2 million displaced people and more than 20,000 innocents killed, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
In the bishops’ statement, they expressed deep regret “at the killings, destruction, and violence” that has taken place, particularly against civilians in Gaza and the West Bank by “the Israeli army and the Israeli settlers,” the Vatican’s Fides News Agency reported.
The bishops called for a “final cease-fire” to pave the way for a “two-state solution.”