The interior of St. Isidore Church in Tubigon, Bohol caved in at the height of the powerful temblor that hit Central Visayas on Oct. 15. (Photo: Anthony Vincent Manding)

MANILA, Oct. 23, 2013—The Vietnamese people joined the rest of the world in praying for the victims of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Central Visayas on Oct. 15. 

Archbishop Phaolô Bùi V?n ??c, president of Vietnam’s Bishop Conference expressed sorrow on the calamity that struck Central Visayas, especially Bohol and Cebu, and assured Filipinos of solidarity from the Vietnamese people. 

In a message sent to Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, CBCP president, Bùi V?n ??c said it was painful for them to hear that just after suffering a devastating typhoon, an equally destructive earthquake will hit the country soon after. 

“We are deeply painful to hear that, just after the devastating typhoon “Nari” passing have killed many people and scores of people missing, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake rocks the central Philippines on Tuesday October 15th, killing hundreds of people and affecting millions others, destroying many infrastructures,” the letter read. 

Speaking on behalf of the Vietnamese bishops and the Catholic people of Vietnam, Bùi V?n ??c assured the Filipinos “of our closeness in prayer to the many others still experiencing the hardship” and of entrusting those who have died into the “merciful arms of Our Heavenly Father.” 

The archbishop also expressed sadness over the “many precious national historic cultural heritage [properties that] have been gravely damaged, including oldest churches of the country.” 

Wishing for the nation’s speedy recovery from the devastation, the archbishop also invoked the protection of St. Michael the Archangel for the entire country. (CBCPNews)