Charles Malek's letter to the Maronites
We are all responsible for Lebanon. Every Lebanese and each confession takes responsibility for it. Each, in proportion to one’s gifts and opportunities, gives Lebanon. However, the Maronites assume a particular and primary level of responsibility. If they waver, we all fall into deception and confusion; but if they take on their responsibility, we would feel strengthened, and we would all take one solid national stand. Lebanon’s destiny primarily rests on the shoulders of the Maronites; this does not at all mean that non-Maronite Lebanese are not called upon to compete with the Maronites in assuming responsibility for this destiny.
What are the bases of the Maronite leadership? There are six principles of Maronite leadership:
First, there are the sovereignty and independence of Lebanon. Under no circumstance, and no matter the source and objective of the pressure, these two principles are never allowed to ever be compromised.
The Lebanon that is politically sovereign, existentially free, culturally connected, complex with confessions, socially fair, cooperating with the Arabs, this Lebanon is our common trust. Moreover, due to the rich Maronite heritage, and to their particular make up, and to their own perception of issues, this very same Lebanon is their own trust in a very prominent way.
Such a religious community, with its overwhelming capabilities, and its solid attachment to the Lebanese entity, such a community shoulders most of the responsibility in the deciding of the future of Lebanon. If Lebanon were to waver because of the many burdens and of the tribulations that her destiny force her to face, under no circumstances would I ever accept that the Maronites would put the blame on any other but themselves.
Likewise, if Lebanon happens to enjoy prosperity, towers high, and becomes blessed with peace confidence and love, and gains high prominence, I would likewise not accept that any other community claims credit for this achievement. This is the glory and the pride of the Maronite community that the fact and the quality of Lebanon’s destiny depend more on it than on any other. It is Providence that has decided these glory and pride, and that has designated this historic and decisive role fir this community.
If we seriously and deeply mediate on the truth of what Lebanon has meant and means, we would have discovered that God’s decision to designate this community could be the most difficult responsibility entrusted to any people in history. Upon this deep meditation, only fear, trembling, and shuddering humility are appropriate to any Lebanese, particularly to any Maronite.
This article is taken from an undated booklet entitled Maronitism and Lebanon, pp. 35 – 43. It includes the complete text of addresses delivered and conclusions declared during the symposium held on May 19, 1974, at the conference room of the Collège des Apotres – Jounieh, upon a Maronite League invitation.