Pope condoles with 'Pablo' victims

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Friday, December 7, 2012

MANILA -- As the death toll of Typhoon "Pablo" continues to rise, Pope Benedict XVI has already expressed his condolences to the Filipinos and is offering prayers for the affected families.

In a message sent to Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Archbishop Jose Palma, the Pope said he "was deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the suffering" caused by the recent typhoon in the Philippines.

"The Pontiff sends his heartfelt condolences to the families of all who mourn, and he assures those in distress of his spiritual closeness and concern," said the message relayed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone through the Papal Nuncio in the Philippines Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto.

"He offers fervent prayers for the deceased and for all those who are working to rescue missing persons and to assist the trapped and injured," added Bertone.

On Friday, the number of fatalities from the deadly typhoon continued to jump as the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) had placed the official death toll at 418.

In a related development, heeding the call of Palma on Thursday, several dioceses are already set to conduct second collection in their Masses this Sunday for the victims of typhoon Pablo.

On Thursday, the Cebu Archbishop called on all dioceses in the country to extend help to the victims of Pablo.

Among the churches that will hold a second collection are those under the Archdiocese of Manila, Archdiocese of Jaro and the Diocese of Cubao as confirmed by Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, and Caritas Manila Executive Director Fr. Anton Pascual.

Also, Pascual said the social action arm of the Archdiocese of Manila has already been able to provide initial financial support to the dioceses affected by the typhoon such as in Tagum, Tandag, and Butuan.

"Initial financial support for relief of Caritas Manila to the dioceses of Tagum, P300,000; Tandag, P300,000, and Butuan, Php200,000. We are still assessing Mati and Malaybalay (dioceses)," he said.

Pascual said those interested to donate may deposit their donations to the following bank accounts: Bank Philippine Islands S/A 3063-5357-01; Banco De Oro S/A 5600-45905, and Metrobank S/A 175-3-17506954-3. (HDT/Sunnex)

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