Papal Envoy Touring Haiti and Dominican Republic

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 20, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II has sent an envoy to Haiti and the Dominican Republic in the wake of their recent floods.

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The floods left 2,000 dead and thousands homeless, a Vatican statement noted when it announced that Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum,” was being to sent to assess the plight of the Caribbean nations.

“Cor Unum” allocates aid to papal charities and coordinates and encourages Catholic charitable works worldwide.

Through Tuesday, Archbishop Cordes will meet in Santo Domingo with the country’s bishops and, together with them, visit the flood affected areas of Jimani and Monte Plata.

The archbishop will also meet with officials of the Dominican Caritas and with Catholic organizations working in the emergency. In Jimani alone an estimated 900 homes were destroyed.

Tuesday to Friday, the archbishop will visit Haiti and meet with Prime Minister Gerard Latortue and with Yvon Simeon, minister of foreign affairs and worship.

He will visit the Cite Soleil, a sprawling ghetto north of Port-au-Prince, as well as Fonds Verettes and Mapou, areas affected by the flood.

Archbishop Cordes also will meet in Port-au-Prince with Catholic aid organizations to discuss the priorities for construction, the Vatican statement reported.

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ZENIT Staff

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