Pope Sends Condolences to US Tornado Victims

Telegram Sent on Behalf of Holy Father Francis by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin to Archbishop José H. Gómez of Los Angeles

Condolences to US Tornado Victims
© Vatican Media

Pope Francis today offered his condolences to US tornado victims.

The Holy Father’s thought came in a telegram of condolence for the victims of the tornado in the United States, sent on behalf of the Holy Father Francis by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin to Archbishop José H. Gómez of Los Angeles, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The message echoed the Pope’s comments made yesterday following the praying of the noonday Angelus with the faithful in St. Peter’s Square:

“I also pray for the victims of the tornado that hit Kentucky and other areas of the United States of America.”

Deadly tornadoes swept through the central part of the country late Friday and into Saturday morning.

More than twenty people were killed in Kentucky, although the state’s governor says the death toll could rise to over 100. Forty people were rescued from a candle factory in the town of Mayfield, but as many as 70 others may have been killed when the twister hit. Tornadoes in four other states killed at least thirty more people, while the storm system also destroyed homes and businesses over a wide territory.

First responders and volunteers are working to help survivors in the devasted area, according to local news reports. The dead include people of all ages and stations in life.

Yesterday, President Jos Biden declared that a major disaster exists in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and ordered Federal aid to supplement Commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding, and tornadoes beginning on December 10, 2021, and continuing.

Here is the telegram sent on behalf of the Holy Father:

THE MOST REVEREND JOSÉ H. GÓMEZ

ARCHBISHOP OF LOS ANGELES

PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.C.C.B.

THE HOLY FATHER WAS SADDENED TO LEARN OF THE DEVASTATING IMPACT OF THE TORNADOES THAT STRUCK THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN UNITED STATES IN THESE DAYS. HE OFFERS HEARTFELT PRAYERS THAT ALMIGHTY GOD WILL GRANT ETERNAL PEACE TO THOSE WHO HAVE DIED, COMFORT TO THOSE WHO MOURN THEIR LOSS, AND STRENGTH TO ALL THOSE AFFECTED BY THIS IMMENSE TRAGEDY. WITH GRATITUDE FOR THE TIRELESS EFFORTS OF THE RESCUE WORKERS AND ALL ENGAGED IN CARING FOR THE INJURED, THE GRIEVING FAMILIES AND THOSE LEFT HOMELESS, POPE FRANCIS INVOKES UPON ALL ENGAGED IN THE MASSIVE WORK OF RELIEF AND REBUILDING THE LORD’S GIFTS OF STRENGTH AND GENEROUS PERSEVERANCE IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR BROTHERS AND SISTERS.

CARDINAL PIETRO PAROLIN

SECRETARY OF STATE