Al-Rahi: "For a Neutral, Independent International Investigation because there is no sovereignty without justice"
13 Sep 2020
Lebnon - Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Bechara Butros al-Rahi, reiterated Sunday the need for a "neutral and independent international investigation, for there can be no sovereignty without justice."
"If the Lebanese authorities, for political reasons, refuse the international investigation, then the United Nations must impose it, because what happened is close to a crime against humanity," underlined the Patriarch.
"If killing a people, destroying a capital, and erasing a heritage do not together constitute a crime against humanity, then what is the gravest crime?" he questioned.
Al-Rahi's words came in his religious sermon during the 40-day memorial service dedicated to the Beirut Port fallen martyrs held this morning. The Mass was attended by Papal Ambassador to Lebanon Joseph Spiteri, a group of bishops, heads of congregations, the families of the victims and various social, religious and cultural dignitaries.
The Patriarch considered that the time has come to eliminate the conspiracy against Beirut, Lebanon and the Lebanese, "this country that has the model and message in its Arab environment, which is distinguished by the system of coexistence, cultural and religious pluralism, democracy based on public liberties and human rights, cultural and commercial openness to countries, and active and necessary neutrality in this Arab and eastern surrounding, so that Lebanon would be a place of meeting and dialogue for all."
"With its active neutrality, Lebanon is a necessity for this environment, a source of vibrant life for it and a decent life for its people," al-Rahi emphasized.
"Today we commemorate the 40-day memorial of the victims of the Beirut Port explosion, the dead, wounded, the missing, the homeless, and those afflicted with their homes, institutions and shops, in addition to the massive destruction of hospitals, places of worship, schools, universities, archdiocese, hotels, restaurants and other public and private institutions," he said.
Al-Rahi raised prayers to the Lord Almighty to rest the souls of the martyrs in peace, and asked for a speedy recovery for the injured and for a quick remedy for all the material damages resulting from this tragic explosion.
The Patriarch also expressed a word of appreciation to "all those who extended a generous helping hand by volunteering and providing assistance," and the friendly and brotherly countries that provided humanitarian aid to those afflicted.