Cor Unum President Taking "Papal Embrace" to Japan

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 12, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The president of the pontifical council that oversees the Church’s charity work will visit the regions of Japan devastated by the March earthquakes and tsunamis.

Today the Pontifical Council Cor Unum announced that Cardinal Robert Sarah will visit Japan for a four-day trip that begins Friday.

He “will carry Benedict XVI’s embrace extended to all the family members of the victims, to all the displaced persons, and to all the volunteers who are working tirelessly on reconstruction,” the communiqué stated. “Caritas Japan, which went into action immediately following the disaster, continues to be the point of reference for all the assistance that the Catholic Church continues offering in rebuilding Japan’s community life after this state of emergency.”

Cardinal Sarah will visit Saitama on Saturday, to see the Church’s assistance centers for those who have lost their homes. Later he will go to Tokyo where, together with the Japanese bishops, he will celebrate a thanksgiving Mass for the beatification of John Paul II. On Sunday, he will go to Sendai, near the epicenter of the earthquake, where he will preside over Holy Mass in the cathedral.

Monsignor Segundo Tejado Muñoz, undersecretary of the council, will accompany the cardinal.

Some 2% of Japan’s 126.5 million people are Christian. Japan has 13 dioceses and three archdioceses served by 27 bishops.

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