Santiago, Chile, Jan 5, 2012 / 16:14 pm
The bishops of Chile urged local Catholics to participate in a Church campaign to help those affected by forest fires that have swept across the southern part of the country.
“To begin the year with this tragedy that has claimed the life of one person and has caused so many poor families to lose everything they have worked to obtain their whole lives saddens us,” the bishops said in a Jan. 4 statement.
“For this reason, a gesture of solidarity by the entire country is essential, in order to urgently meet the most pressing needs of the moment,” they added.
Chilean media reported that the fires in the Biobio region have scorched nearly 62,000 acres and destroyed 160 homes, leaving more than 600 people homeless.