Holy See Steps Up Aid to Tsunami Victims

Church Aims for Direct Role of Donors

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 7, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The agency that John Paul II channels his charity through is stepping up efforts to aid tsunami victims in Asia and Africa, and to encourage the generosity of Catholics.

The Pontifical Council «Cor Unum» is renewing its appeal to the faithful so that they support the commitment of their respective local Churches and charitable organizations.

«The Holy Father follows with attention the evolution of the situation,» a Vatican source told ZENIT today.

By order of the Pope, «Cor Unum» has sent emergency aid to Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Indonesia and Somalia in the wake of the Dec. 26 tsunami whose death toll topped 147,000.

The president of «Cor Unum,» Archbishop Paul Cordes, commented on the generosity Catholics worldwide are showing.

«John Paul II’s appeal has set in motion episcopal conferences, national Caritas organizations, dioceses and other realities of our Church,» he told the Italian newspaper Avvenire. «This has made it possible to avoid all bureaucratization and to promote the direct participation of the donors.»

According to the archbishop, the nature of Catholic institutions has a practical advantage.

«Many volunteers in parishes, many priests and lay people, many religious congregations work for free,» he said. «In this way, the administrative costs that affect the aid, for example in ‘Cor Unum’s’ case, are reduced to less than 1%. While in some humanitarian organizations, which pay their employees high salaries, they rise to 25%.»

Those who wish to entrust to the Pope their donations to assist the victims of the tragedy in Asia may send their donations directly to «Cor Unum.» Donations in euros from European countries may be made to the order of:

Pontifical Council Cor Unum
Account No. 603035
Bank: Banco Posta, Poste Italiane S.p.A.
Address: Viale Europa, 175
I-00144 Rome, Italy
International Bank Code (IBAN): IT20 S 07601 03200 000000 603035
Cause: «Emergency in Asia»

Please, clearly specify your name and address.

Donations in other currencies may be made to the order of:

Pontifical Council Cor Unum
Account No. 101010
Bank: Banca di Roma
International Bank Code (IBAN): IT93 J 03002 05008 000000 101010
Cause: «Emergency in Asia»

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