Apostolic Nunciature in Damascus Is Bombed; No Casualties

This just in:  This morning the Vatican ambassador’s office (Apostolic Nunciature) in Syria has been struck by a mortar shell.

The situation has been increasingly tense in Damascus, since the war reached that city this summer.  Monsignor Mario Zenari, apostolic nuncio in Damascus, said in a recent interview, “People are afraid to go out during the day in some neighborhoods.  Dark days are coming.”

And Monsignor Zenari was right.  Following is the news report I’ve just received from the Vatican Information Service.

Please keep the Church in the Middle East in your prayers.



Vatican City, 5 November 2013 (VIS) – The Holy See Press Office has communicated that this morning the apostolic nunciature in Syria, located in Damascus in the central quarter of Malki, was struck by a mortar shell. The incident did not cause extensive structural damages and the nunciature remained open to the public today.

In an interview with Vatican Radio the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Mario Zenari, explained that the repercussions were limited to minor material damage, partly because the mortar attack occurred at 6.35 this morning, before the employees enter to work. He added that this type of incident occurs on a regular basis in Syria; for instance, last Saturday the convent of the Franciscan Fathers in Aleppo was struck by two or three rockets which caused minor damage to the roof but fortunately caused no casualties. The same occurred in other parts of old Damascus last week, and rockets have fallen near to the nunciature on other occasions, causing residents, especially children, to flee. The archbishop therefore called upon the international community and above all the parties to the conflict to increase their efforts to bring the conflict in Syria to an end, as “people suffer more every day, every day there are deaths, people abandon their homes and the number of refugees and displaced persons is rising”.