DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     September 22, 1999     vol. 10, no. 180

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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        TAIPEI, Taiwan (CWNews.com/Fides) - "We are doing all we can to alleviate the suffering of the people: every Church structure is preparing to accommodate the homeless," said Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-Hsi of Kaohsiung, president of the Chinese Regional Bishops' Conference in Taiwan, on Tuesday, hours after a violent earthquake struck the island, killing 1,100 and leaving 3,500 injured and at least 1,200 still buried under the rubble of collapsed buildings.

        "The Church in Taiwan will move in two phases," said Cardinal Shan. "First, we intend to mobilize all church and school buildings to provide shelter for the homeless. Then we will start a worldwide campaign for funds to help the earthquake victims." Locally in Taiwan, as part of this campaign, the bishops will make a special appeal to the government and to citizens to think of the suffering on September 24, which for the people of China is the Feast of Autumn. "We will ask everyone of goodwill to save the money they would spend on festivities and give it to help our suffering people."

        Prayers for the dead will also be said in every diocese on the island. "On Sunday, September 26, in every parish, there will a Mass for the dead with prayers for the survivors and a collection in aid of the homeless," Cardinal Shan said. He added that he wished to thank everyone for the countless messages of solidarity from all over the world, especially those from Pope John Paul II and mainland China.

        Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano sent Cardinal Shan a telegram on behalf of the Pope expressing "deep sadness at the news," "closeness to the entire population," and "sympathy to all affected by this tragedy."

        Father Giovanni Battista Zhang, editor of the Faith Bulletin in the diocese of Shijia Zhuang in Hebei, near Beijing, said he is "profoundly grieved at the news" and voiced on behalf of all Chinese Catholics "solidarity with the people of Taiwan." He said, "We already have been praying for the victims of the earthquake in Turkey and today we are very near to our fellow countrymen and women. We will celebrate Mass for them and do everything we can to help."

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.

September 22, 1999       volume 10, no. 180


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