.- Archbishop Ricardo Tobon Restrepo of Medellin, Colombia expressed sadness and solidarity following the country's recent landslide that has killed 17 and left 100 missing.
The archbishop said that these disasters are an invitation to show solidarity and to “put our trust in God who gives us strength even in the most difficult of trials.”
In an interview with CNA on Dec. 6, Archbishop Tobon, who reached out to the victims immediately upon learning of the landslide, said he felt great “sorrow and dismay at seeing the suffering of so many people.”
“We must reach out in solidarity to help all those affected by the intense rainfall we have had in Colombia, especially in the department of Antioquia,” the archbishop said, referring to the torrential rains that have drenched more than 80 percent of the country in recent weeks.
“All we can do is entrust all of this to God knowing that He can bring good even out such distressing situations and trials that are so difficult to bear and understand,” he added.
“These tragedies take place partly because people who live in rural areas have been displaced from their homes because of the violence, and they have had to settle in ... geographically unstable areas, where they had no help in urban development,” the archbishop said.
He noted that the Church is helping those affected with shelter and food from the archdiocese’s food banks.