Benedict XVI is expressing his condolences for the victims of an explosion last week at the headquarters of Mexico’s state oil company. At least 37 were killed and several dozen more were wounded.
Vatican Radio reported that the Pope’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, sent a telegram to the archbishop of Mexico City, Cardinal Norberto Rivera.
The note described the Holy Father as grief-stricken at the “painful news of the explosion” at the PEMEX headquarters. It assured the Pontiff’s prayers for the “eternal rest of the deceased.”
Cardinal Bertone requested the archbishop of Mexico to “transmit the heartfelt sympathy of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the relatives of the deceased, together with expressions of consolation and wishes for the speedy recovery of those affected by this lamentable event.”
“In this circumstance, the Pope invokes at the same time the sweet name of Our Lady of Guadalupe and imparts from his heart his comforting Apostolic Blessing, as a sign of hope in the Risen Christ,” added the text.
The Mexican episcopal conference (CEM) also expressed its “solidarity with the victims of the explosion” and assured prayers “to the Creator so that the wounded will have a speedy recovery, the deceased be granted eternal life and affected families be given the necessary strength in these moments of sorrow.”
“May Holy Mary of Guadalupe intercede for all before the Lord,” concluded the statement from the president and secretary of CEM, Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega and Bishop Eugenio Lira Rugarcia.
Initial investigations indicate that the explosion was caused by a build up of gas in the basement of the office building, which was set off by a spark from an electrical fault.