By Michael Young
The Daily Star
Put aside for a moment that Christian approval of the Orthodox plan Tuesday seemed a natural misstep for a community bathed in self-doubt about its own future, as Christian numbers have declined. The reality is that the largest Christian community, the Maronites, have as their spiritual leader a man, Patriarch Beshara al-Rai, who has only reinforced this desolate mood by heightening Christian fears.
This provincial priest sees isolation as a form of security, and was precisely the wrong man to lead the Maronite Church when he put on the gold, purple and red of a patriarch.
Rai recently explained events in Syria in this way to a Protestant delegation.
Rai always had a soft spot for the Syrian regime, but if anything can be said of the Americans it is that their neglect of Syria has been deplorable.
Ultimately this tells us what Rai really is: a man who is ethically loose, insubstantial, whose only true motivation appears to be self-promotion, whose religious integrity is nonexistent, the mellifluous voice there to camouflage the emptiness of the whole.
While Pope Benedict XVI is not inspirational given the abuses he covered in the German Church at one time, he is intellectually far ahead of Rai.
Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Columnist/2013/Feb-21/207267-desolation-gains-a-foothold-in-bkirki.ashx#ixzz2LXj5hfco
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)