Benedict XVI Asks Prayers and Aid for Hurricane Victims

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 25, 2005 ( Benedict XVI appealed for prayers and aid for those affected by the U.S. hurricanes and for the victims of natural disasters worldwide.

After reciting the midday Angelus today with crowds gathered at the papal summer residence, the Holy Father spoke in English to express his closeness to those who have endured the fury of hurricanes Rita and Katrina.

“Our thoughts go especially to those who are affected by the natural disasters in the United States and other parts of the world,” the Pope said.

“I invite to join in prayers to the Lord for all who suffer, for the victims and their loved ones, and for the rescue workers. May God grant them consolation and strength in their trials.”

As a gesture of his solidarity with Hurricane Katrina victims, Benedict XVI sent Archbishop Paul Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum,” as a special envoy to tour the affected region Sept. 10-14.

The Catholic Church in the United States has launched a national fund-raising campaign to support relief aid to the region.

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