Damascus (Agenzia Fides) - The Christians of Syria are preparing to live a "bitter Lent", and among the many factors of suffering and sorrow afflicting the Churches of Syria there is the fact that many priests who during the years of civil war left the country, depriving the remaining faithful of their pastoral comfort. This is what Archbishop Samir Nassar, head of the archieparchy of Damascus of the Maronites, said in his pastoral letter for Lent.
"Parishes" writes Archbishop Samir in the letter, sent to Agenzia Fides, "have seen the number of parishioners diminish and pastoral activities reduced considerably. The Church of Damascus has witnessed the departure of one third of their clergy (27 priests). This is a hard blow weakening the place and role of the Christian minority already in decline. The priests struggling to remain - says Archbishop Maronite - without any reassurances consider negotiating their eventual departure. They only wait for humanitarian agencies to arrive to assist broken families". Precisely in this state of abandonment and poverty - says Archbishop Nassar - this bitter Lent of 2017 offers us time in the desert to take a good look at our commitment to the Church in the midst of faithful in distress, to lead the way towards Christ Resurrected. Christ Light of the world who knows the hearts of men and women says: "Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest". (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 01/03/2017)