February 26, 2013. (Romereports.com)
Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai is the Patriarch of the Maronites of
Antioch. He was born in Lebanon on 1940, and was ordained a priest at 27
years old. During the last conclave, in November 2012, Benedict XVI
created him cardinal.
He is known for his conciliatory tone and his desire for peace. On the release of an offensive video of the prophet Mohammed, spurring mass protests violence against American embassies, the cardinal asked the UN to condemn insults to religion. He said the video was not only insulting to Islam, but to all religions.
Bechara Boutros Rai lived in Rome for some time as the director of the Arab transmissions of Vatican Radio. In addition to Arab, he speaks French, English, Spanish and Italian. This next few weeks he will prepare to lead the ceremony for the Way of the Cross for Good Friday at Rome's Colosseum.
His latest effort in search for peace took place during his February 9 trip to Syria. It was the first time a Maronite Patriarch stepped foot on that country, since Lebanon achieved independence on 1943.