2009-10-05 15:21:26

Pope urges prayers, solidarity for natural disaster victims, Guinea

(October 5, 2009) Pope Benedict XVI has recalled in prayer all the victims of natural disasters in Asia and the Pacific, and has appealed for aid from the international community. Addressing pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square to join him in praying the midday “Angelus” on Sunday, the Pope invited prayers for the disaster victims as well as the victims of violence in Guinea, Africa. He recalled the populations of the Pacific and Southeast Asia, recently stricken by violent natural calamities such as the tsunami in the islands of Samoa and Tonga; the typhoon in the Philippines, that later hit Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and the devastating earthquake in Indonesia. "These catastrophes,” he said, “have caused grave losses of human life, numerous missing and homeless persons and enormous material damage." The Pontiff also turned his thoughts to "those who are suffering from the floods in Sicily, especially around Messina." Also during his “Angelus”, the Pope called for political dialogue in Guinea, where at least 157 people were killed in a bloody crackdown on street protesters on Monday. The victims were participating in a protest against Capt. Moussa «Dadis» Camara, who seized power in a coup last December.

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