VATICAN CITY, JAN. 15, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The outpouring of love expressed in solidarity is perhaps the only possible consolation for the catastrophe in Haiti caused by Tuesday’s earthquake, says a Vatican spokesman.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, reflected during Vatican Television’s “Octava Dies” on the disaster in the Caribbean and the Church’s immediate response.
“The world is shocked by the tragedy of the people of Haiti, by the tens of thousands of victims, by the immense number of those affected, by the difficulties of organizing aid in a situation of general confusion, by the heartbreaking grief of a whole people, one of the poorest on earth,” Father Lombardi reflected.
He noted how the Church as well, “which lives with its people, has also been directly and painfully hit by the death of so many members, beginning with the archbishop himself of the capital.”
The spokesman recalled how Benedict XVI immediately called for solidarity and how his voice has been joined by that of many others — “so that we can hope that also on this occasion, as has already happened in the past, the gravity of the tragedy is turned into an opportunity for a great race of solidarity and love.”
Father Lombardi suggested that this “generous and genuine love is, perhaps, the only consolation, the only great answer to this sea of grief, as the love of Christ who dies on the cross is the only true answer to man’s suffering.”
The spokesman mentioned a conversation he had with a priest, who told him: “We, Haitians, are used to disasters, natural, political or of other kinds, but each time the people hope again, this is a Christian hope. For Haitians, love is stronger.”
Father Lombardi reflected that “so many social and pastoral agents, witnesses of solidarity, have now died in these days, ‘for love,’ together with Haitians, such as Brazilian Zilda Arns, founder of the marvelous Children’s Pastoral Care.'”
Arns was in Haiti studying the implementation of her program — one of the most successful in the world at combatting infant mortality — on the island.
Father Lombardi concluded his reflection, affirming that “we must continue to support, through solidarity and love, the resurgence once again of the hope and love of Haitians, of the poor and of those who suffer in the world.”