Vatican City, May 8, 2005 / 22:00 pm
On Friday, Pope Benedict XVI welcomed bishops from the Church in last year’s tsunami-ravaged Sri Lanka in his first "ad limina" visit since being elected Pope.
In his speech to them, he addressed "the devastating effects of the tsunami last December, which claimed a vast number of lives in Sri Lanka alone, and left hundreds of thousands homeless.”
He asked them to “Please accept my profound sympathy and that of Catholics everywhere for all who have endured such terrible losses."
Pope Benedict noted that, "the Christian community has a particular obligation to care for those children who have lost their parents as a result of the natural disaster," and said that "these most vulnerable members of society ... so often are simply forgotten or shamelessly exploited as soldiers, labourers, or innocent victims in the trafficking of human beings.”