Vatican’s foreign minister Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher visited the Lebanese president on Tuesday at Baabda presidential palace where he criticized the Lebanese politicians for the ongoing economic, accusing them of profiting from the suffering of the people in a financial crisis that has plunged a large majority into poverty.
His accusation concurs with that of the World Bank that accused, a week earlier, Lebanon’s ruling class of “orchestrating” the economic crisis to exploit Lebanon’s resources, causing one of the world’s worst national economic depressions.
“Stop using Lebanon and the Middle East for outside interest and profit,” Archbishop Gallagher issued after his meeting with President Aoun.
He stressed that “the Lebanese people must be given the opportunity to be the architects for a better future in their land without undue interference.” He also revealed that the Vatican is willing to help by hosting a dialogue between the political actors if requested by all involved parties.
“Pope Francis asked me to express to you his closeness and concern about the situation,” he said addressing the Lebanese people, “and he believes that the reforms will help Lebanon, along with the support of the international community.”
He indicated that “any weakening of the Christian presence would destroy Lebanon’s internal balance and identity.”
He expressed his sympathy to the victims of the Beirut Blast, adding that may “justice be done” and reiterated Pope Francis’ assurance that “he wants to visit Lebanon soon.”
The 5-day visit to Lebanon of Archbishop Gallagher, which will end on February 4th, is a show of solidarity with the Lebanese people who have been long enduring severe crises and neglect by the political ruling body.