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Pope pleads for emergency help for devastated Haiti

Catholic World News - January 13, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI issued an urgent appeal for help for the people of Haiti at the conclusion of his regular weekly public audience on Wednesday, January 13. He called attention to the “tragic situation” created by a major earthquake that has caused “serious loss of human life, large numbers of homeless and missing people, and vast material damage.” Promising his prayers for the victims and their families, the Pope added: “I appeal to the generosity of all people so that these our brothers and sisters who are experiencing a moment of need and suffering may not lack our concrete solidarity and the effective support of the international community.” He said that Catholic charities would respond as quickly and generously as possible.

Haiti’s capital, Port au Prince, was devastated by the earthquake, which measured 7.0 on the Richter scale. Thousands of people are feared dead, hundreds of buildings destroyed, and as many as 3 million people in need of emergency relief. Haiti is the most impoverished country in the Western hemisphere, and the slum outside Port au Prince, Citi Soleil, is home to tens of thousands of people already living in dire poverty.

Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot of Port au Prince was reportedly among those killed in the earthquake.

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