Responding to Pope Francis’ requests to support the people affected by the earthquake with prayer and concrete actions, the Pontifical Mission Societies have joined the many initiatives of solidarity.
Newsroom (13/02/2023 10:14, Gaudium Press) The Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) have expressed their closeness to the victims of the earthquake that shook Turkey and Syria at the beginning of February. In response to Pope Francis’ request to support the people affected by the earthquake with prayer and concrete actions, the PMS have joined the many initiatives of solidarity.
Helping to Preserve the Cradle of Christianity
Among the initiatives presented by the institution is a campaign to raise emergency funds to assist in the rescue work and to ensure shelter and basic conditions for survivors and the homeless. The material donations are being coordinated by Bishop Emilio Nappa, President of the POM, who is in contact with the national directors in Syria and Turkey.
According to Father Mounir Saccal, national director of the FSPs and vicar general of the Syrian-Catholic Church in Aleppo, “the situation in Aleppo today is catastrophic, we are surrounded by chaos and devastation.” The priest asks for help “so that our faithful who have remained can continue here to preserve the cradle of Christianity.“
From Mourning to Rebuilding
On February 6, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria. According to official data updated on Monday, February 13, the number of fatalities from this natural disaster has reached 37,357, with 31,643 deaths in southern Turkey and 5,714 in Syria.
Through a note published by the National Direction of POM in Australia, Father Adrian E. Loza, OFM, Director of POM in Turkey, urged the faithful to pray for those affected by the earthquake. “My message is an invitation to prayer and generosity, not only now, but also afterwards (…) From mourning to rebuilding. We will have to rebuild and repair many buildings and churches to serve the people, as well as help them move on,” he stressed. (EPC)
Compiled by Florence MacDonald