Fides agency gave voice August 3, 2017, to the call of the Maronite Bishops for a global plan to return Syrian refugees to their homeland. Fides is the missionary news agency of the Vatican.
The call for a plan came at the end of the August 2, 2017, monthly meeting of the Maronite Bishops in Beirut under the presidency of their patriarch, cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai.
At issue is the repatriation to Syria of more than a million Syrian refugees currently staying in Lebanon to avoid the violence in their homeland. The bishops voiced concern that the lack of a global plan to address the refugee situation is causing huge damage to Lebanon as a nation.
“Despite our solidarity with the refugees”, said Patriarch Rai, “the Lebanese hope that the process will be reconsidered in order to ensure a safe return in their own country by setting aside the various political positions that hinder the desired solutions”.
Pope Francis has repeatedly called on world leaders, both religious and secular, to address the refugee crisis. He has received groups of refugees at the Vatican and made a point of reaching out to those in need. In his remarks to the International Forum on Migration and Peace in February 2017, he call the helping of refuges a “moral obligation.”