Pontiff Sends $200,000 to Peru

VATICAN CITY, AUG. 20, 2007 (Zenit.org).- By way of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, Benedict XVI sent $200,000 to the relief effort in Peru after an earthquake devastated the country and claimed at least 540 lives.

The Vatican confirmed today in a communiqué the monetary gift as well as Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s trip to the region, affected by Wednesday’s magnitude-8 quake.

The Holy Father said Sunday during the Angelus address that he was sending Cardinal Bertone, his secretary of state, to Peru. He said the cardinal had already foreseen a trip to the South American country.

The Pontiff’s gestures wish to “express the solicitude of the universal Church for those that have lost their loved ones and their possessions,” the statement said.

Benedict XVI is encouraging the faithful and Catholic aid organizations to undertake every possible means of organized assistance in a spirit of “fraternal charity toward the affected population, respecting the locally-defined priorities and in accord with the local Church.”

The Pontifical Council Cor Unum is the Vatican dicastery that oversees the Church’s charitable activities.

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