Pope Francis Expresses Solidarity with Typhoon Victims in the Philippines

Cor Unum Pledges Initial Donation of $150,000

Vatican City, (Zenit.org) Junno Arocho Esteves | 1396 hits

The Pontifical Council Cor Unum announced today that the Holy Father has pledged an initial donation of $150,000 to aid the Philippine population suffering from the devastation left by super typhoon Haiyan which struck over the weekend.

The donation was announced after a telegram from Vatican Secretary of State, Archbishop Pietro Parolin, was sent to President Benigno Aquino III on behalf of Pope Francis.

Archbishop Parolin stated that the Holy Father expressed his condolences as well as his solidarity to all the victims of the super typhoon. “[The Holy Father] is especially mindful of those who mourn the loss of their loved ones and of those who have lost their homes,” the telegram stated.

“In praying for all the people of the Philippines, the Holy Father likewise offers encouragement to the civil authorities and emergency personnel as they assist the victims of this storm. He invokes divine blessings of strength and consolation for the Nation.”

In a communique released some time after, the Pontifical Council Cor Unum stated that an initial contribution of $150,000 will be sent to aid the population affected by the tragedy. Several reports stated that while there are 250 confirmed deaths, officials stated that the death toll could reach up to 10,000.

The aid sent by the Holy See will be distributed through the local Church in the regions mainly affected by the typhoon and will support relief efforts for those displaced and affected by flooding.

The donation, the communique concluded, is meant to be the “first and immediate concrete expression of the sentiments of spiritual closeness and paternal encouragement of the Supreme Pontiff towards the people and territories devastated by the floodings.”