Pope grieves with victims of German ice skating rink disaster

.- The Vatican announced today that Pope Benedict has sent his personal prayers and condolences to families of the victims of a German ice skating rink accident, which occurred on January 2nd.

The roof of a skating rink in the Bavarian town of Bad Reichenhall--close to the Pope’s own birthplace--collapsed under the weight of heavy snowfall killing 13. At least 8 children are among the victims.

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, sent the telegram of condolence to Germany’s Cardinal Friedrich Wetter, Archbishop of München and Freising, expressing the Holy Father’s prayers and wishes of swift recovery for the injured.

"Pope Benedict XVI”, the message said, “is remembering in his prayers the people killed in this tragic accident, especially the children, and he is asking the Lord for a speedy help and rescue of those still trapped."

The Pope himself grew up in Traunstien, some 20 miles away from 15,000-resident Bad Reichenhall.

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