Vatican City, Sep 11, 2005 / 22:00 pm
Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, head of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, is in the U.S. Gulf Coast this week to express the solidarity of Pope Benedict XVI and the worldwide Church with victims of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the region nearly two weeks ago.
On Saturday, Archbishop Cordes met with Bishop Robert Muench of Baton Rouge, LA, and Fr. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities U.S.A--which has been assisting with a massive Catholic-based relief effort--to offer support and concrete assistance from the Vatican.
On Sunday, the group celebrated a special Mass in the cathedral of Baton Rouge remembering victims of the hurricane, as well as those who died in the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington DC. That event took place four years ago.
Later in the day, the Holy See delegation - which included Washington DC's Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick - held a series of talks with local bishops of the region and with Louisiana State governor, Kathleen Blanco. They also visited many of those displaced by the catastrophe currently staying in Baton Rouge.