Last Updated: Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:36 am (KSA) 07:36 am (GMT)

From The Daily Star: Rai pushes for compulsory civil marriage

Rai leads the group in prayer.
Rai leads the group in prayer.

BEIRUT: Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai voiced his support Tuesday for civil marriage, calling on the government to make it compulsory for all Lebanese. He also renewed his call for a new social contract among the Lebanese based on the 1943 National Pact.

Rai made his remarks during a question-and-answer meeting with some 650 students from the Two Sacred Hearts schools at the Maronite patriarchate in Bkirki.

Asked to comment on calls by Speaker Nabih Berri and other Muslim leaders for the abolition of the country’s ruling system that allotted key government posts along sectarian lines, Rai said: “What does political confessionalism mean? It means two things: The National Pact, which is coexistence between Muslims and Christians, where the Lebanese sacrificed saying no to [foreign] protection or tutelage. This I call the National Pact. If the abolition of the pact is required, this is unacceptable.”

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