The Situation in Benghazi
Mgr. Sylvester Carmel Magro OFM, Vicar Apostolic of Benghazi, Libya, sent a letter to the local community of Rabat. The letter was read in public during the concluding moments of the Feast of Saint Joseph, which was celebrated in the Franciscan church of Saint Mary of Jesus, Rabat, on Sunday 19
March. Mgr. Magro asked for prayers and solidarity to face the current situation, in the aftermath of the destruction of the church and friary in Benghazi by an angry Libyan mob protesting at the publications of the cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed in various European media. Mgr. Magro had planned to take part in the Feast of Saint Joseph, but he said that God had other plans for him.
The Franciscan bishop has recently returned to his cathedral church in Benghazi, to assess the disastrous state in which it has been left. The destruction is so great that the Franciscan friars have been left without any belongings. Everything in the friary was burned, including clothes, beds and other basic commodities.
In the meantime Mgr. Magro, with the help of other collaborators, has been trying to clean up the whole place and reinstall the electricity in the church, so that it can be reopened for the faithful who come to worship there.