.- During a Mass attended by thousands of Peruvians affected by the recent earthquake in their country, Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, conveyed “the greetings, solidarity and blessing” of Pope Benedict XVI to all Peruvians, especially those affected by the tragedy.
Together with Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima, Bishop Miguel Cabrejos, president of the Bishops’ Conference of Peru, and the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Rino Passigato, Cardinal Bertone presided at a Mass at the Shrine of Luren, which was almost completely destroyed by the August 15 earthquake, with the exception of the famous gigantic crucifix, which survived unscathed.
During the Mass, the cardinal presented Bishop Guido Brena of Ica—the region most affected by the earthquake—with a donation of $1.3 million from the Italian bishops. The current situation in Peru, he said, “teaches us all to have great hope in the Christ of Luren and in his mother the Virgin Mary.”
Cardinal Bertone expressed special greetings and affection to the faithful gathered for the Mass and for “all of the volunteers, authorities, and all those who help them in this difficult time of suffering.” “In this celebration,” he continued, “we especially remember the victims, the wounded and all those who suffer.”
“With particular and fraternal affection I feel very close to each and every one. I wish to greet each and every one, but it is impossible. And to all I wish to extend the cordial greeting, solidarity and blessing of His Holiness Benedict XVI,” the cardinal said.
“In these days of great concern and grief,” he explained, “the Holy Father follows the life of the Church in Peru with great attentiveness, especially the life of the Church in Ica. May the assuredness of his material and spiritual closeness bring consolation to the entire Peruvian nation.”