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Pope expresses closeness to Sierra Leone mudslide victims


Saina Bah | AFP

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 08/16/17

Caritas channeling donations to search-and-rescue mission.

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Several hundred people were killed on the outskirts of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, this week, when the rainy season caused a hillside to collapse in the early hours of Monday morning.

The resulting mudslide decimated houses and streets in the town of Regent, taking at least 300 to 400 lives and leaving many more searching for loved ones. As many as 600 people are still missing.

Catholic Relief Services/Caritas is accepting donations for the many needs of the search-and-rescue effort and the long-term needs of the families. See here.

The pope’s secretary of state today sent a message of condolences on Pope Francis’ behalf:

The Right Reverend Charles Edward Tamba
Archbishop of Freetown

        Deeply saddened by the devastating consequences of the mudslide on the outskirts of Freetown, His Holiness Pope Francis assures those who have lost loved ones of his closeness at this difficult time. He prays for all who have died, and upon their grieving families and friends he invokes the divine blessings of strength and consolation. His Holiness likewise expresses his prayerful solidarity with the rescue workers and all involved in providing the much needed relief and support to the victims of this disaster.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State

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