Saturday, September 10, 2005

Cordes to the Rescue

Archbishop Paul-Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum and papal delegate to the afflicted areas of the Gulf Coast, has touched down in the US.

According to a communique of the Holy See Press Office, Cordes is spending today in Baton Rouge, meeting with Baton Rouge's bishop, Bob Muench, and Fr. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA. Tomorrow morning, he will celebrate Mass in the Baton Rouge Cathedral -- a liturgy intended to be both a commemoration of those lost in the Hurricane and the fourth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, "the community in a prayer to relieve human suffering in the light of Easter and the Resurrection of Christ."

Accompanied by Cardinal McCarrick -- also part of the papal delegation -- Cordes will meet with Alfie Hughes, Tom Rodi of Biloxi and Gov. Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana. The papal representative then greet refugees gathered in Baton Rouge, along with relief workers from the various agencies.

A Monday press conference with local authorities "is foreseen," following which will come an afternoon visit to Biloxi.

On Tuesday, the delegation returns to Washington for meetings with Federal officials. (Brownie?) Cordes will return to Rome the next day.

The release concludes with these words -- my translation: "This mission of the Pope's envoy, besides being a material sign of the spiritual closness of Benedict XVI, is also intended to encourage the Catholic institutions which are working in this time of emergency, as they contribute, prepare and bring ever closer the time to rebuild."

On his return to Rome, Cordes will probably brief the Pope of his findings over dinner -- he is one of the few who gets invited these days.



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