Vatican spokesman says 'only real comfort' in Haiti is love

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi
Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi


As Haiti reels from the destruction left by Tuesday's devastating earthquake, messages of support and prayers are coming in along with aid from every corner of the globe, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi says "the only real comfort" of these days in Haiti is this "generous and genuine love."

“The world is rightly shaken by the tragedy of the people of Haiti," already some of "the poorest of the Earth," said Fr. Lombardi on “Octavo Dies,” weekly television program that will be aired on Saturday through the Vatican Television Center.

"Also the Church, that lives with its people, has been directly and painfully hit by the deaths of so many of its members," he continued, referring to the death of Archbishop Serge Miot of Port-au-Prince, in particular, and the disruption of the Church's activities on the island.

Fr. Lombardi called attention to the reaction of Pope Benedict who "immediately raised his voice with vibrant words of spiritual participation and a call for solidarity" along with "innumerable others, from all countries, in particular the closest on the American continent."  In this massive response, said the Jesuit, we see yet again that "the gravity of the tragedy becomes an occasion for an extremely vast contest for solidarity and love."

"This generous and genuine love is possibly the only real comfort, the only big answer to this sea of pain, as the love of Christ that dies on the cross is the only real answer to the suffering of man."

In his message, Fr. Lombardi quoted the words of a Haitian priest who said that amidst the many man-made and natural catastrophes to which the people of the island have grown accustomed, they always regain hope, "and this is a Christian Hope. For Haitians, love is stronger."

This is the love that was present in the work of so many now deceased social and pastoral workers, "witnesses of solidarity," said Fr. Lombardi.

"We should continue to accompany, through the solidarity of love, to bring back - yet another time - the hope and the love of the Haitians, of the poor and suffering of the world."

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