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Western countries foster Mideast conflicts, says Maronite patriarch

Catholic World News - August 26, 2013

The leader of the Maronite Catholic Church has told Vatican Radio that “outside countries, especially in the West but also elsewhere, are helping to foment” conflicts in Egypt, Iraq, and Syria, according to a Vatican Radio summary of his remarks.

Cardinal Béchara Boutros Raï “spoke of his belief that there is a plan to destroy the Arab world for political and economic interests,” according to the summary, as well his belief in “a plan to exacerbate as much as possible the inter-confessional conflicts between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. The Maronite Patriarch said he had already written to the Pope to express his concern about this issue on two occasions.”

Cardinal Raï added that the situation in the Middle East is worsening, that “whenever a conflict breaks out in the Middle East, whenever chaos ensues, Muslim groups attack the minority Christian community, as if they were always the scapegoat,” that Christians oppose the Muslim Brotherhood’s attempts to introduce Sharia, and that Christians “want a reformed and democratic Egypt, an Egypt that knows how to respect human rights,” according to the summary.

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  • Posted by: Thomas429 - Aug. 31, 2013 11:35 PM ET USA

    I am in total agreement with the good father in saying that the U. S. has no business trying to pick winners in these conflicts. We are like wise powerless to arrest the violence against civilians in general and Christians in particular without exerting direct control over the governance of these countries. I for one have no interest in attempting to do it.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Aug. 26, 2013 9:09 AM ET USA

    While I am eager to learn from the Cardinal's experience, it is hard to follow his logic here. The violence in this area comes from Islam and its teachings. Perhaps the West is arming different Muslim factions for profit, but other than that, it is hard to see what advantage it gains from conflict. If he means the West should refrain from intervening, I agree; bad as they were, everyone was far better off with Mubarak and Hussein in power in Egypt and Iraq respectively.

  • Posted by: Defender - Aug. 26, 2013 8:19 AM ET USA

    I am sure the US isn't part of any "plan" to divide the Arab world - it is incompetent and has no idea what or how to do anything in the region. And the UN is so incompetent, it is impossible to believe that the left hand knows what the right is doing. Europe is, if possible, even more PC than the US. The Arabs on the other hand, are in power struggles for control, incompetent as most of them are, and like to blame others for their ineptitude.

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