Cardinal in Lebanon Says Churches Have a ‘Great Duty’ to Help Beirut After ‘Devastating’ Explosion
A cardinal serving in Lebanon said churches have a duty to help Beirut, which he described as a “devastated city” after a massive explosion at its port killed at least 145 people and injured 5,000.
“Beirut is a devastated city. A catastrophe struck there because of the mysterious explosion which occurred in its port,” Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, said Wednesday in a statement released by the Catholic Telegraph.
“The Church, which has set up a relief network throughout Lebanese territory, today finds itself faced with a new great duty which it is unable to assume on its own,” he added.
Rai called the devastation of the explosion “a war scene without war,” adding that there was “desolation in all its streets, neighborhoods, and houses.”
On Tuesday, an explosion caused by an estimate of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilizers and bombs, that had been stockpiled for years in a port warehouse. The explosion left 460 feet wide crater at the site of the blast which is now filled with water from the sea.