Cardinal offers prayers for earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria

Following the devastating earthquakes in Syria and Turkey that have left thousands dead and many more injured and homeless, Cardinal Nichols has written to Fr Andrawis Toma, Chaplain to the Chaldean Catholic community in London, to offer prayers and condolences.

In his letter he writes:

“I am writing to offer my sincere condolences following the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and northern Syria.

“Please do extend my sincere sympathy to your congregation in the Chaldean Catholic Church. May God grant strength and enduring faith to all who are bereaved, injured and traumatised. May God welcome into his merciful presence all those who have died.

“I assure you all, too, of the prayers and condolences of the Catholic Community in England and Wales. We, too, mourn this loss of life. We pray for the eternal repose of all who have died.”

Bishop Declan Lang, who chairs the International Affairs department of the Bishops’ Conference, has also offered prayers for victims and survivors of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck south-eastern Turkey.

“Our prayers are with the people of Syria and Turkey; all those who have died, those who are mourning their family and friends, and those who have lost their homes,” said Bishop Lang. “We pray too for the brave local rescue workers and volunteers from across the world.”

CAFOD, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, has launched an emergency appeal to help meet the needs of those affected. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the death toll could exceed 20,000.

Bishop Lang has urged Catholics to pray for survivors, victims and their families and, if possible, to support CAFOD’s appeal.

“I encourage Catholics throughout England and Wales to continue supporting our sisters and brothers who have been affected by this tragedy, through your prayers, and if possible through CAFOD’s emergency appeal which is providing urgent food, water, and shelter to survivors.”