Lebanon at the Crossroads

Showing solidarity with our friends from Lebanon

Decades of corruption and entanglement in the Middle East’s geopolitical conflicts, which increasingly revolve around natural resources in the Mediterranean, are crippling Lebanon. “We are held, hostage. Our entire democracy is crumbling,” Talhouk said, warning of another civil war. In this existential crisis, the people place their hope on NGOs and the churches’ solidarity, especially from Europe.

Inspirations for a theological reform from the East

Dietmar Winkler, a world-leading expert on the Churches of the East, Chair for ecclesiastical history at the University of Salzburg and a consultant to the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and the Austrian Bishop’s Conference, called for a change of perspective toward the East. Lebanon, he said, is a melting pot of Christian diversity. The theologies of the East go back to the apostolic era but often emerged ultimately independently of Rome. An authentic apostolic tradition, therefore, exists beyond Rome, he said. “Whoever leaves out whole branches of Christianity deprives himself of numerous theological possibilities to also deal with contemporary problems, for example, in the area of sacramental theology”, Winkler reminded. In the encounter with Islam, too, the Eastern Churches have much to contribute in practical and theological experience. Catholic theology would do well to broaden its still Eurocentric horizon and to become more creative and lively in the active encounter with the Eastern churches.


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