DAILY CATHOLIC WEDNESDAY December 2, 1998 vol. 9, no. 234
NEWS & VIEWS
PAPAL ENVOY IMPRESSED BY COURAGE, FAITH OF MITCH VICTIMS
MANAGUA (CWNews.com) - In a visit to a refugee camp in Nicaragua yesterday, Archbishop Paul Joseph Cordes, who is visiting the region as the Pope's personal envoy, expressed his admiration for "the great courage and faith" shown by the survivors of hurricane Mitch.
Archbishop Cordes, the president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, celebrated Mass in Posoltega, a region where a mud slide destroyed several villages located at the foot of the volcano "Casitas," killing around 1,200. During the Mass, attended by Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo of Managua and the local Bishop Bosco Vivas, the Vatican envoy a personal message of encouragement and solidarity sent by the Pope.
In the morning, Archbishop Cordes visited the refugee camp Vida Nueva, where temporary shelters have been constructed from sheets of plastic and cardboard, and was surprised to see that the best areas had been reserved for an altar in which a small image of the Virgin was placed, surrounded by wild flowers and covered with the branches of coconut palms.
"I have been able to experience how difficult is the
situation of these people, but at the same time I have
witnessed that, despite the pain, they have not lost their
will to move forward, supported in their Catholic faith,"
the archbishop reported. He promised the Nicaraguan people
that he will urgently request more aid from Catholic
charities, but he added: "All this help is just the seed;
you have to plant it, make it grow and bring permanent
fruit." During his visit to Nicaragua, Archbishop Cordes
held a meeting with President Arnoldo Aleman as well as the
leaders of the Nicaraguan bishops' conference, and visited
several refugee camps in the vicinity of Managua and Leon.
Today, the Archbishop will arrive in El Salvador and later
in the week will travel to Honduras and Guatemala.
Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
NEWS & VIEWS