DAILY CATHOLIC    THURSDAY     December 23, 1999     vol. 10, no. 244

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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Archbishop of Caracas Calls for Conversion

        CARACAS, DEC 22 (ZENIT).- The search continues in Caracas for people who have disappeared, and the state of Vargas has had to be militarized because of violent robberies that placed the Army on alert and resulted in arrests.

        Many countries continue to send aid and volunteers specialized in required emergency work. Venezuela has also announced its most urgent needs: doctors and health personnel, priests, psychotherapists and social workers. Diocesan Caritas, NGOs and Venezuelan embassies around the world are receiving material aid, and several bank accounts have been established to facilitate expressions of solidarity. The number of dead could rise to 50,000, and of homeless to 300,000.

        Archbishop Ignacio Velasco of Caracas said during a Mass in the Basilica of St. Teresa, that the only answer for Christians "when nature goes wild, is to humble oneself before God, the only One who can control it." The Archbishop presided over a prayer service for the victims. Hundreds of people from the capital expressed their suffering to the popular and venerated image of the Nazarene of St. Paul.

        "We should look within ourselves and ask ourselves if we haven't caused this to a degree, because we do not do things well and then we all pay the price. We have sins of pride, we think we can do everything, and nature takes care to show us we do not have all the power," the Archbishop said,, exhorting the faithful to practice solidarity at this time of need, and to begin again with a converted heart. ZE99122202

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

December 23, 1999       volume 10, no. 244


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