The Patriarch addressed his greetings for the new year, expressing wishes for the common good, peace, and quietude.
Touching on public issues, His Beatitude said:
“On this blessed day, we call upon the Lebanese officials to work in favor of this tormented people, overwhelmed by the dire crisis, a phenomenon unprecedented in Lebanon since the First World War. We prompt them to form a rescue government that will pull the country and people out of the deep crisis that is turning into a tragedy. It is unacceptable to continue denying responsibilities as the country collapses, people starve, the foundations of a decent life fall apart and hope for a reform diminishes.
He pointed to the increasing unemployment rate, the deficit of private companies and institutions, and all other difficulties that people face, including their inability to pay dues.
Touching upon ecclesiastical matters, His Beatitude added:
“Facing the clamor that occurs and prevails in the aftermath of every church event, we remind you that the Orthodox Church is going through a delicate stage in the world today. Intensified prayer and work are required to preserve the unity commanded by the Lord. This requires that all those dealing with church affairs stay away from quarrels. As for the faithful Christians, they cannot be drawn to the fictitious accounts that aim to weaken confidence in the Church and to spread dissension among the faithful for well-known purposes. Here, it must be emphasized that the Antiochian Church has not compromised and will never compromise over the truth. She will remain a prophetic voice that bears the issues of our countries, of our people, and this Levant. We have never neglected them and will never do. As for ecclesiastical matters, we always deal with them within the Church, with a frame of mind of the Church, based on the teachings of the Holy Gospel, the Holy Tradition, and Church Canons. These are the sole starting point and reference for the faithful. “
After the Divine Liturgy, His Beatitude received the faithful who attended at the Monastery lounge.