WASHINGTON (February 1, 1999) -- In the aftermath of the earthquake that devastated parts of Colombia last week, the President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/U.S. Catholic Conference, has conveyed the sympathy and support of the U.S. Bishops.
The text of Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza's January 28 letter faxed to Archbishop Alberto Giraldo Jaramillo, PSS, President of the Episcopal Conference of Columbia, follows:
"I write in the name of the Bishops of the United States to express to you and all the people of Colombia our profound sympathy in this time of great sorrow because of the powerful earthquake of last Monday, January 25, that caused such terrible loss of life and goods.
"Our prayers are raised in particular for the Church and people of the areas most affected, especially in the Dioceses of Armenia and Pereira. I would be grateful, Excellency, if you would share this expression of our fraternal concern and solidarity with the Bishops of those dioceses.
"It is our fervent hope that many in the international community, including very especially our own government of the United States, will respond appropriately and generously to the great needs of the people in the affected areas.
"I am confident that the Church of the United States, especially through our relief and development agency, Catholic Relief Services, will do all in our power to provide critically needed assistance."