Vatican City, 15 April 2014 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, on behalf of the Holy Father, sent a telegram of condolences to Bishop Gonzalo Duarte Garcia de Cortazar of Valparaiso, Chile, for the fire that over the last 48 hours has devastated the nearby forest, spreading to various zones of the city. It has so far claimed twelve victims and over 10,000 people have had to be evacuated from their homes.
“Upon hearing the sad news of the fire that is affecting the city of Valparaiso, Pope Francis wishes to express his spiritual closeness to all the inhabitants, raising prayers for the eternal repose of the souls of the victims of this grave disaster, and sharing in the sorrow of those who have lost their homes and property.
“Likewise, offering the support of prayer for the efforts of the emergency services, the Holy Father urges the authorities and all the people to stay firm in the face of adversity, so that through the spirit of fraternal solidarity and charity, the necessary help may reach all those affected”.
At the end of the telegram Cardinal Parolin asks the bishop to transmit his most heartfelt condolences to the families of the departed and expresses his paternal care for those afflicted.