Photos have emerged of the damage sustained by the Jesuit house in Aleppo at the weekend when three bombs hit their building. The community managed to avoid injury because they were on retreat; but the chapel and various offices were seriously damaged in the attack on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis yesterday sent a letter to the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, appealing for “an end to the violence and the peaceful resolution of hostilities” in the country. The appeal was delivered through newly appointed Cardinal Mario Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio to Syria, as “a particular sign of (the Pope’s) affection for the beloved Syrian people, so sorely tried in recent years”, according to the Holy See’s Press Office.
Writing from Aleppo, Fr Andrzej Halemba SJ (below), who recently visited Britain to talk about the situation in Syria, said that the three bombs hit the Jesuit community’s buildings at around 6pm on Sunday. Fr Halemba is Aid to the Church in Need’s Project Co-ordinator for the Middle East and has spent years traveling around the Middle East and North Africa for ACN. While in Britain, he shared his recent experiences and his thoughts about the future for the most ancient Christian communities in the world today.