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Pope Francis, Syriac Patriarch call for prayers after devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria

Pope Francis and local Church leaders on Monday reacted with dismay and calls for prayer following a devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

According to Reuters, the series of earthquakes — up to 7.8 magnitude — killed about 1,700 people and injured thousands more, with many people still trapped under the rubble Monday. Figures were expected to grow in the coming hours.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported the overnight quake struck at a depth of 11 miles.

A “deeply saddened” Pope Francis sent “heartfelt condolences to those who mourn their loss” in telegrams addressed to the apostolic nuncios of Turkey and Syria.

The telegrams — signed by the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin — said Pope Francis prayed “that the emergency personnel will be sustained in their care of the injured and in the ongoing relief efforts by the divine gifts of fortitude and perseverance.”

The pope also affirmed “his spiritual solidarity” with the “long-suffering Syrian people.”

In Syria, which has been ravaged by more than a decade of civil war, countless buildings collapsed Feb. 6, including several Catholic churches, reported ACI MENA, CNA’s Arabic-language partner agency.

Syrian Catholic Patriarch Mar Ignatius Ephrem Josef III Younan called on the local faithful to pray.

The patriarch is currently on an official visit to Syrian dioceses in Iraq. He is Syriac Catholic patriarch of Antioch and heads the Syriac Catholic Church. 

2023-02-09T10:38:57+00:00 February 9th, 2023|Categories: News|