The head of the Maronite Church, Patriarch Peter Bechara, has stirred up controversy in his home turf of Lebanon — so much, that President Obama has now canceled, without explanation, a scheduled meeting.
Though no official explanation has been given for the change of plans, Bishop Gregory Mansour of the Maronite Eparchy of St. Maron of Brooklyn has made it clear in an open letter to the president that the Obama Administration rebuffed the patriarch:
“Because he has spoken out expressing his concern for the future of Christians in the Middle East, he has been rebuffed by you and your Administration. It is pure hypocrisy for the leader of the free world to refuse to meet with Patriarch Rai especially since the Prime Minister of Israel can come and completely disregard essential parts of a peace plan and still be given a warm welcome, and the King of Saudi Arabia, where Christians have no freedom whatsoever, can be received with highest honors. Mr. President, you are ignoring the plight of Christians in the Middle East!”
Read more for the context.