Mgr Samir Nassar
The Maronite Archbishop of Damascus, Mgr Samir Nassar, has described the crisis in Syria as "an apocalypse" He told Fides today: "One lives an apocalypse in Damascus, and we hope with all our heart, mind and strength, that resurrection may soon arrive":
The Archbishop said: "Since Tuesday fighting has been raging in Damascus with heavy weapons, tanks and helicopters, in a city full of civilians. The destruction is enormous. What an ordeal! The clashes are taking place in the streets and moving from one district to another. I cannot sleep for fear and for the noise of bombs and gunfire. The temperature is above 40 degrees C and often there are power outages. There is insufficient supply in many areas, we are short of bread, vegetables, cooking gas and fuel for the furnaces. The population is terrified and does not know where to take shelter.
The roads to Jordan, Iraq, to Aleppo and the north area of Homs are closed. You see a long snake of people fleeing on the road to Lebanon: an exodus that occurs in the general panic."
Turning to the displaced of Damascus, the Archbishop said: "I hope you find a home, remembering that in the past, the Syrians welcomed the Palestinian, Lebanese and Iraqis refugees."
Mgr Nassar continued: "the few faithful who had the courage to come to Mass lit many candles at the tomb of the Blessed Martyrs of Damascus. They exchanged greetings and tears, in fear of seeing each other for the last time, before returning home between gunfire and explosions."
The violence that has torn the other cities of Syria had been spared in Damascus: "Now it is our turn to suffer and die. We have just built a shelter under the stairs, to escape the bombs and the cellars of the parish have been cleared up. It is an apocalypse: we hope that resurrection arrives soon, after much suffering."