Pope Expresses Solidarity with US Hurricane Victims

Offers Prayers to Those 'Engaged in the Work of Rebuilding"

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By Pietro Gennarini

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 31, 2012 (Zenit.org).- During today’s general audience, Pope Benedict XVI expressed his closeness to the victims of Hurricane Sandy while addressing the English speaking pilgrims in attendance. “Conscious of the devastation caused by the hurricane which recently struck the East Coast of the United States of America, I offer my prayers for the victims and express my solidarity with all those engaged in the work of rebuilding," the Holy Father said.

The message comes at a time when parts of the Caribbean, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States are scrambling to recover from what is being hailed as the worst storm in the last hundred years. In the United States alone, 55 people have died and many injured from the massive storm. Millions have no power while thousands have been evacuated.

The words of the general audience regarding the nature of Faith, spoke volumes to the circumstances faced by millions affected by the storm. “The experience of communion with God serves as foundation for communion amongst men,” affirmed the Pope.

The Holy Father stressed in his catechetical series the opportunity given to all to receive faith as gift, a theme relevant to those facing difficulties in the storms aftermath. Faith cannot be "relegated to the individual sphere," the Pope said.