Lahoud's Regime Under Fire in Christmas Sermons


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President Lahoud's regime came under clerical barrages of criticism in Christmas sermons that focused on Lebanon's
political, economic and social sufferings, which the government is unable to resolve.
"If the House master cannot build the house, then constructors cannot do anything," Maronite patriarch
Nasrallah Sfeir said in a Xmas sermon at the chapel of his seat in Bkirki on Tuesday.

The Patriarch, who has long been championing the cause of Lebanon's salvation from Syrian hegemony, spoke after a
secluded conclave with the president, who is he closest ally of Syria among Lebanon's Maronite community.

"By the same token," cardinal Sfeir went on in the sermon that was attended by Lahoud," it is useless to try to
protect the country by others than its original guards."

That was an obvious reference to Lahoud's adamant refusal to let the Lebanese army deploy en masse on the border with
Israel, leaving the combustible region, instead, under the effective control of Hizbullah.

Another outburst against the president in person came from Archbishop Elias Awdeh, of the Greek Orthodox community in

"The president must leave his palace to the houses of the poor to witness their appalling conditions and map out a
strategy to remedy their sufferings," said Awdeh in a spellbinding, televised oration.

"There is an inexcusable absence of equality and justice in Lebanon," the Archbishop said. "And there are plenty of
excesses against human rights that must be brought to an end."

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