MANILA, Nov. 12, 2013—Pope Francis said he was deeply saddened by the destruction and the loss of life brought about by the recent super typhoon.
In a letter addressed to Philippine President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State said “His Holiness Pope Francis expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this storm and its aftermath.”
A copy of the letter was sent to CBCP President and Cebu Archbishop Jose S. Palma by the Apostolic Nunciature’s Chargé d’ Affaires Msgr. Seamus Horgan.
Archbishop Parolin added Pope Francis “is especially mindful of those who mourn the loss of their loved ones and of those who have lost their homes.”
“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,” the Vatican official added.
Archbishop Parolin concluded the letter by saying Pope Francis “invokes divine blessings of strength and consolation for the Nation.”
Both government and Philippine Red Cross officials fear thousands may have died from the recent catastrophe which came three weeks after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake shook the Dioceses of Tagbilaran and Talibon in Bohol, the Archdiocese of Cebu and its suffragans and the Dioceses of Sorsogon and Legazpi to the north, the Dioceses of Bacolod, Kalibo and San Jose (Antique) to the west and the Archdiocese of Davao to the south. (Melo M. Acuna)