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Tuesday, December 28, 2004


VATICAN CITY, DEC 28, 2004 (VIS) - This afternoon, the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" published a communique stating that the Holy Father "has approved a first installment of aid to the populations of the countries struck by the earthquake and tsunami that violently hit Southeast Asia as well as some parts of Africa."  Following is the rest of communique:
  "On behalf of the Holy Father, the dicastery has sent emergency aid to Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Indonesia and Somalia through the respective pontifical representatives.

  "In the Church, as in other parts of the world, a unanimous chorus of fraternal solidarity has risen up with concrete responses to the appeals made by the afflicted populations: the Italian Episcopal Conference has donated 3,000,000 Euro, the Caritas network has already collected the sum of more than 2,000,000 USD.  Some branches of Caritas (Austria, Netherlands, United States) have already sent experts to the region to help the various national branches of Caritas.  In addition, the Jesuit Refugee Services is helping local Churches.

  "Cor Unum, which in the Pope's name is closely following the evolution of events and the work of different Church organizations, appeals to the faithful to generously support, individually and collectively, the efforts of the respective local Churches and charitable organizations so that a rehabilitation program for the people, so harshly affected by this devastating calamity, can start up.

  "Those who would like to contribute to the Holy Father's efforts with a gesture of solidarity toward our unfortunate Asian brothers and sisters can do so by making a donation to bank account n. 603035, made out to the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, 00120, Vatican City, indicating that it is for the 'Asian emergency'."
.../HUMANITARIAN AID/COR UNUM                    VIS 20041228 (270)

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