.- The Archbishop of Madrid and president of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, expressed the profound condolences of the country’s bishops over the air tragedy in Madrid that took the lives of 153 people on Wednesday.
In a press release, Cardinal Rouco and his auxiliary bishops “together with the entire diocesan community, profoundly lament the accident which took place this afternoon at the Barajas Airport, and they pray to the Lord of life for the eternal repose of the great many who died, as well as for the recovery of the wounded.”
“To them, and to the family members of the deceased, the bishops of Madrid express their closeness in these moments of intense suffering to comfort them in their faith and their hope,” the statement said.
Likewise, the bishops “ask all parishes and Christian communities of Madrid to join together in intense personal and liturgical prayer that God in his infinite mercy might receive those who died into a place of light and of peace, and grant health to the wounded and comfort with the hope of eternal life to all the family members.”
According to the Spanish daily El Pais, the Spanair jetliner was carrying 172 persons to the Canary Islands. After taking off and ascending to the “point of no return,” the left engine caught fire and the plane crashed in a field nearby. It was Spain’s worst air accident in the last 30 years.