As residents of the Maharashtra region of India struggle to cope with the devastating monsoon rains and flooding that have already killed some 430, the Holy Father is expressing his “profound solidarity and pastoral concern” in the time of crisis.
A message was sent today in the Pope’s name by Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano to Cardinal Ivan Dias, Archbishop of Bombay.
The telegram read: "Deeply saddened by reports of the tragic consequences of the monsoon rains in Maharashtra State, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI sends the assurance of his profound solidarity and pastoral concern.”
“With fervent prayers that Almighty God will grant eternal peace to those who have died and consolation and strength to the homeless, injured and suffering,” it continues, “he invokes the divine gifts of wisdom, strength and peace upon the civil authorities and those engaged in the massive work of relief and rebuilding."
The latest reports say that the Indian Navy has been called in to help some 150,000 people still trapped on roads, railways and in office buildings.