Papal Condolences for Victims of Refinery Fire in Venezuela

At Least 40 Killed in Amuay

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VATICAN CITY, AUG. 28, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI sent a message of condolence to those affected by the recent fire in a refinery in Venezuela. The fire started on Saturday and has only recently been extinguished. According to government officials at least 41 people were killed and another 150 were injured. More than 500 homes were damaged.

Benedict XVI sent a telegram to the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Venezuela, Archbishop Diego Rafael Padrón Sánchez of Cumaná, which was signed by the Pope’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

The telegram expresses the Holy Father’s prayerful spiritual closeness to the victims and their families. Following is the Vatican Radio translation of the telegram.

Pope Benedict XVI, deeply saddened by the news of the serious accident in Amuay Refinery, Falcon state, which caused many casualties and much property damage, prays the Lord for the eternal rest of the deceased, while expressing fatherly spiritual closeness to the injured and to all the victims and their families.

The Pope also encourages the whole civil and ecclesial community of Venezuela to a spirit of charity [in] Christian solidarity in giving all necessary assistance to those who have lost their homes or their personal property. With these sentiments, the Holy Father imparts his Apostolic Blessing to those affected and to those who are working to offer relief, as a sign of affection to the beloved people of Venezuela.