Bishops encourage prayers for victims of Mexico City train accident 

Mexico City cathedral The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven in Mexico City, Mexico/ Eduardo Berdejo/CNA

Mexican bishops encouraged prayers and solidarity with the victims following a Mexico City Metro accident that took place the night of May 3. The crash claimed the lives of at least 23 people and left more than 60 injured.

Around 10:20 on Monday evening, the railway overpass of Line 12 of the Mexico City Metro commuter train collapsed, causing one of the passenger cars to crash onto the road below. The accident occurred near the “Olivos” Metro station in the borough of Tláhuac in southeast Mexico City.

Alfonso Miranda Guardiola, the secretary general of the Mexican Bishops’ Conference and auxiliary bishop of Monterrey, told CNA’s Spanish language news partner ACI Prensa that “we received the news last night during a meeting with the auxiliary bishops of Mexico. And they immediately and publicly expressed their condolences along with Cardinal Carlos Aguiar.”

“I immediately joined these expressions of support and solidarity from the Archdiocese of Mexico,” Miranda Guardiola said.

In a Twitter post, the Archdiocese of Mexico, headed by Cardinal Carlos Aguiar, prayed for the victims of the collapse of the railway overpass, and that the toll would not be any worse than already reported. 

In a May 4 press conference, the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, called for “a thorough and impartial investigation, seeking to know the truth" about what caused the Metro accident.

“Absolutely nothing is going to be covered up. The people of Mexico have to know the whole truth,” he vowed.

The Mexico City Metro system has 12 lines that run through the capital city and some neighboring municipalities. Line 12 was built between 2008 and 2012 during the administration of Marcelo Ebrard, who headed the government of the area then known as the Federal District, which encompassed Mexico City.

Ebrard, the current Secretary of Foreign Relations under the López Obrador administration, said on Twitter last night that “what happened today in the Metro is a terrible tragedy. My solidarity to the victims and their families.”

“Of course, the causes must be investigated and responsibilities determined,” Ebrard said, and pledged to help in the investigation in any way he can. 

Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced a “structural review of the entire Line 12, a report by experts and an in-depth investigation into the causes.”

Bishop Andrés Vargas Peña of the Diocese of Xochimilco, Tláhuac and Milpa Alta - located in the area where the accident occurred - expressed this morning his “great shock” over the Metro accident.

The diocese was erected in September 2019, and was formerly part of the Archdiocese of Mexico.

“My most fervent prayer rises up for the people who have suffered this accident, for the injured who have been taken to different hospitals, that the Lord may have mercy on them and grant them the grace of a swift recovery,” he said. 

“And, for those who have unfortunately passed away, that the Heavenly Father may have mercy on their souls and grant them eternal rest,” he added.

The bishop also encouraged the faithful of his diocese to lift up these intentions in their prayers, and said he is closely following the news so that “as the tragedy becomes clearer, I will give the appropriate guidelines for charitable ministry so you can help as much as possible” through diocesan Caritas.

“I am asking the Caritas of the Archdiocese of Mexico and the diocese of Iztapalapa to join forces to help those who need us,” he continued.

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Vargas Peña asked the diocesan priests in the area of the tragedy “to give appropriate spiritual aid” to the injured.

In addition to offering Mass at 8:00 a.m. for the deceased, the injured and their families, the bishop said there will be other actions and times of prayer for the victims of this accident which will be announced “as we have more information.”

“As soon as circumstances make it advisable, I will go to the scene of the accident to pray for those who have perished there and to express to the bereaved relatives the maternal embrace of the Church,” he announced and asked Our Lady of Guadalupe to “accompany all those who are suffering at this time.”

The Archdiocese of Mexico also announced that Holy Mass will be offered for the victims of the accident on May 4 at 7:00 pm, which will be broadcast on Facebook and the YouTube channel of its weekly magazine Desde la Fe (From the Faith).

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