Papal Condolences for Moroccan Quake Victims

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 25, 2004 ( John Paul II sent a message of condolence to the relatives and loved ones of the victims of Tuesday’s earthquake that killed more than 550 people in northern Morocco.

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In a telegram sent by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano to Archbishop Antonio Sozzo, the papal nuncio in the north African country, the Pope transmitted “to the families and to all Moroccans touched by this drama” his closeness “in their sorrow.”

The Holy Father “asks the Almighty to welcome into his Kingdom the victims and to bring comfort and courage to the wounded, to those close to them, and to persons participating in rescue operations, in the hope that gestures of solidarity will be shown to lighten the pain of our brothers and sisters in mankind.”

The earthquake, which measured 6.5 on the Richter scale, occurred near the city of Al Hoceima. Some 300 people were injured.

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