Bishop Victor Hugo Palma of Escuintla in Guatemala urged Catholics to offer assistance to those impacted by Tropical Storm Agatha and the country's volcanic eruption in San Vicente. “We are all called to offer as little or as much as we can” to help those who have lost everything.
“I call on the leaders of our parish social ministries to take action and I thank the diocesan Caritas office as well as the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, for his moving message of closeness over the catastrophe in Guatemala.” The prelate also expressed gratitude to “the archdiocesan Caritas office for its help especially for those affected by the eruption of the San Vicente Pacaya volcano.”
Bishop Palma urged Guatemalans to turn the Lord in these difficult times in which natural disasters have struck a country already suffering from social ills.
Societal and family problems, he recalled, are “caused by human evil which is the fruit of sin.” “They also bring tears to our eyes and afflict us to the point that we recognize" not only the "urgent need to rebuild” following the natural disasters, but also the necessity of creating “an environment respecting life and the dignity of the human person from conception to natural death,” he said.
The bishop called on Guatemalans to look to the Word of God, “which acts as lamp unto our feet amidst the suffering of our brothers and sisters. It ignites our faith, which in difficult times turns into hope and strength.”