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Monday, February 6, 2006


VATICAN CITY, FEB 4, 2006 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a telegram sent by Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano, in the Pope's name, to Cardinal Stephanos II Ghattas, C.M., patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts, Egypt, following the sinking in the Red Sea on Friday February 3, of the passenger ferry Al Salam 98, which cost the lives of more than a thousand people.

  "His Holiness Benedict XVI, having learned the painful news of the tragic wreck of the Egyptian vessel 'Al Salam 98,' has asked me to give assurances of his spiritual closeness to the families and friends of the dead. The Pope calls on the Almighty to give eternal happiness to the victims, who came from different countries, and to support families in their mourning and affliction, inviting everyone to show fraternal and spiritual solidarity towards them. He pays homage to the rescuers and to all who came in aid of the passengers of the stricken vessel, calling down upon everyone the blessings of the Almighty Lord."
TGR/SHIPWRECK RED SEA/GHATTAS                    VIS 20060206 (180)

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