Pope Urges Solidarity After Peru Quake

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VATICAN CITY, AUG. 16, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI expressed his sorrow for the victims of the earthquake in Peru that has claimed at least 450 lives.



The Pope called for solidarity after Wednesday's magnitude-8 earthquake, centered near the cities of Ica and Pisco. He sent a telegram to the bishops of the dioceses affected by the disaster.

The Holy Father said he was "profoundly saddened by the dire news," and "offered prayers to the Lord for the eternal rest of those who have died."

The telegram, sent in Benedict XVI's name by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, asks the bishops to convey the Holy Father's "sincere sorrow … to the families of the dead" and promises his "fatherly spiritual closeness to the numerous wounded and those who have been deprived of a home."

The Pope "encouraged the institutions and persons of good will to offer the necessary help to the victims, with charity and a spirit of Christian solidarity."