IMF Congress 2002
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Media Release
Press Contacts:
Dr. Eli Saade (330) 759-2705
Ed Salem (714) 220-4920


We, the Board of Trustees of the International Maronite Foundation, meeting in executive session in Los Angeles, California on May 5, 2001, extend greetings to our Patriarch Nasrallah Butros Cardinal Sfeir and reaffirm our allegiance and fidelity to him as spiritual head of the Maronite Church. We ask God to continue to give him good health and the stamina, which he has humbly said "is not mine but from above."

We congratulate Patriarch Sfeir on his successful pastoral tour of the United States and Canada, which was crowned with his triumphant return to Lebanon.

We declare complete and firm support for all of his policies as expressed on his tour and his subsequent positions on his return to Lebanon. Particularly, we support his decision not to go to Syria due to the implications of such a trip at this time. We pray that the time will soon come when he and all Lebanese can feel comfortable with their neighbors.

The IMF congratulates the Christian political leadership in Lebanon for its demonstration of unity in its call for the "recovery of full national sovereignty" and for dialogue as the means to secure Lebanon as the final homeland for all its people.

We fully support their call for the redeployment of the Lebanese Army to the south of Lebanon and an eventual end to Syrian presence in Lebanon.

With the Patriarch's blessing, the Christian leadership has stepped up to fill a patriotic role; the Lebanese people, especially the Christians, now have the insight and leadership of enlightened men and women who will, in a peaceful manner, work to secure the rights and sovereignty of all Lebanese.

The IMF, with the blessing of His Beatitude, announces that preparations are underway to hold an International Maronite Congress in the year 2002. This Congress will explore an agenda to support the universality of the Church.

The IMF firmly believes in the unity of all Maronite organizations throughout the world. It is essential that we develop a political, social and religious agenda that will identify the common denominators among all Maronites and all Christians to develop a unity of purpose in Lebanon and in the perpetuation of the Lebanese Christian traditions.

To this end we will intensify our contacts with the Maronite Leagues and organizations abroad. In order to have a representative International Maronite Foundation, the IMF will offer seats on the Board of Trustees to all bona-fide organizations. In this area we expect to work closely with the Maronite Bishops and the Maronite League of Lebanon in a collaborative, coordinated and consultative manner.

The IMF pledges to work toward creating a closer bond among all Maronites and to seek a unity of purpose among all, regardless of political affiliation. Further, we extend an invitation to our Lebanese brothers and sisters to help us re-build a Lebanon that is free, sovereign and democratic and a government that guarantees social, economic, religious and political justice to all its citizens.

For this effort we pray to almighty God to inspire, enlighten and protect our dedicated leaders, especially our Supreme Pontiff, the Pope of Rome, His Holiness John Paul II and His Beatitude Nasrallah Butros Cardinal Sfeir, Patriarch of Antioch

Last Updated: November 11, 2001


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