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World prays for victims of Hurricane Katrina

 Prayers have been said in churches around the world for victims of Hurricane Katrina which swept through the US Gulf Coast states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama last week. In a telegram, sent by the Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Pope Benedict said he was "deeply saddened" to learn of the catastrophe. "His Holiness prays for the victims and rescue workers and all involved in providing assistance to the victims of this disaster, encouraging them to persevere in their efforts to bring relief and support," the telegram said. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has also expressed his concern for those caught up in the devastation. He said: "I have watched with deep concern the unfolding tragedy in the United States in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. Like so many, I feel particularly for those still waiting for news about their loved ones. "I know that churches in the area have been heavily affected, but I have been heartened to learn of the ministry of the chaplains involved with the emergency and rescue services. It is important to remember and support their vital work. "I hold all those affected in my prayers at this dreadful time." Dr Williams has written personally to the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the USA and to the Bishops of Alabama, the Central Gulf Coast, Louisiana and Mississippi. Source: ACN/VIS