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Chile: Church rushes to support earthquake victims

Catholic Church agencies in Chile have been rushing aid and relief to the areas devastated by a powerful earthquake on Saturday. More than 700 people are known to be dead, but it is feared the death toll will rise further as aftershocks continue. The area most affected is the south-central part of the country, including Santiago, Talca, Concepcion, Talcahuano and Constitucion.

Bishop Alejandro Goic of Rancagua, President of the Bishops' Conference of Chile said: "It is time to pray and to gather as the one family that we are. This has been a real disaster. We grieve for our brothers and sisters who lost their lives and we express closeness and prayer to their relatives and friends, even those who have lost theirproperty obtained through the efforts of a lifetime."

"Faithful to her mission, the Church is committed to providing spiritual support and joint action for solidarity in this hour of tragedy. In the strength of the Gospel, we must bring hope in times of fear, pain, and disaster. We pledge our assistance to the authorities, officials, and volunteers.”

“Caritas Chile has opened a special bank account to receive donations of money devoted to the cities most severely affected. May the Lord grant us His peace and may Our Lady of Mt. Carmel cover us with her mantle of protection, so that we can arise from this bitter hour. Take courage, Chile and may the God of Life bless us all," concluded Bishop Goic.

Source: Fides/CC