Pope Sends Condolences for Victims of Mexican Quake

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 22, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II expressed his sympathy and appealed for solidarity with the people affected by the earthquake that struck western and central Mexico late Tuesday, killing at least 23.

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In a telegram to the apostolic nuncio in Mexico, the Pope said he «offers suffrage for the eternal repose of the deceased and raises fervent prayers so that the Lord will give consolation to those affected by the tragedy and inspire in all sentiments of solidarity to overcome the adversity, encouraged by moral values always open to hope.»

The papal message, sent to Archbishop Giuseppe Bertello, also conveys «His Holiness’ heartfelt sympathy to the relatives,» the «wounded and those affected.»

The telegram, sent in the Pope’s name by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, encourages all «institutions and men of good will to give effective help, with a generous spirit and Christian charity.»

The earthquake, centered near the Pacific health resort of Manzanillo, in Colima, measured 7.6 on the Richter scale. It caused buildings to sway in Mexico City, 500 kilometers (300 miles) away.

Of the dead, 21 were in Manzanillo. Two others died in the state of Jalisco.

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