(Vatican Radio) Pope Benedict XVI has sent a Message of Condolence to the those affected by the recent accident at the Amuay Refinery in Falcon state, Venezuela. The accident occurred Saturday. It killed 48 people, injured dozens of others and damaged 200 nearby homes. Firefighters have extinguished the blaze at one of three burning oil tanks in what is the country's biggest refinery. Conveyed via telegram addressed to the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Venezuela, Archbishop Diego Rafael Padrón Sánchez of Cumaná, and signed by the Secretary of State of the Holy See, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the telegram expresses the Holy Father’s prayerful spiritual closeness to the victims and their families. Below, please find the full text of Vatican Radio's translation of the telegram.
POPE BENEDICT XVI, deeply saddened by the news of the serious accident in AMUAY REFINERY, Falcon state, which caused many casualties and much property damage, prays the Lord for the eternal rest of the deceased, while expressing fatherly spiritual closeness to the injured and to all the victims and their families.
The Pope also encourages the whole civil and ecclesial community of Venezuela to a spirit of charity Christian solidarity in giving all necessary assistance to those who have lost their homes or their personal property. With these sentiments, the Holy Father imparts his Apostolic Blessing to those affected and to those who are working to relieve them, as a sign of affection to the beloved people of Venezuela.