Syriac Maronite Church responds to campaign against two Lebanese Bishops in Holy Land

BETH KERKE, Lebanon — Recent days have witnessed widespread confusion within Lebanese political and media circles following accusations leveled against Lebanese Archbishops Moussa el-Hage and Kamil Simaan, alleging they met with the president of Israel Isaac Herzog.

In response to the confusion and accusations, the Syriac Maronite Patriarchate issued a statement to address the unfounded claims. Syriac Maronite Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Haifa and the Holy Lands Moussa el-Hage vehemently condemned what he described as a deliberate fabrication orchestrated by well-known entities.

“We must not yield to campaigns of betrayal and intimidation but rather focus on serving the Church, the Archdiocese, and Christians in the Holy Land,” Archbishop el-Hage stated.

He underscored the significance of his presence in the Holy Land as a representative of the Vatican and the Church, emphasizing the authorization to provide guidance on appropriate actions. El-Hage clarified that visiting patriarchs and archbishops, during their meetings, conveyed their condemnation of the ongoing military actions in Palestine to the officials they engaged with.

In a show of solidarity, Patriarch Mor Bechara Boutros al-Rai strongly condemned the incitement campaign and disapproved of the unfounded allegations directed at Archbishop el-Hage. Al-Rai urged the authorities to investigate and hold accountable those responsible for launching the incitement campaign. He clarified that el-Hage was not involved in the claimed visit, as he was occupied with responsibilities elsewhere in the Archdiocese. The Patriarchate’s response aimed to quell the confusion and uphold the integrity of Archbishop Moussa el-Hage in the face of baseless accusations.