Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pray for Haiti

After a 7.0 magnitude quake struck Haiti's capital yesterday, claiming Port-Au-Prince's archbishop, cathedral and largest hospital among a staggering toll reportedly in excess of 100,000 lives and an "unimaginable" number of homes, the Pope has activated the global network of Catholic Charities for the service of relief and rebuilding, while the nuncio reports devastation all around, including 100 or so priests and seminarians trapped in the rubble of the city's formation house.

For its part, the US church's relief arm -- Baltimore-based Catholic Relief Services, now chaired by the archbishop of New York -- has devoted its website to collecting donations to fund its efforts, which've already begun with the deployment of $5 million worth of aid.

While CRS' John Rivera reported earlier that the agency's staff were already on-ground in the Haitian capital and their headquarters survived, at least one close-by building had collapsed.

The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, some 80 per cent of Haiti's ten million residents are Catholic.

PHOTO: Reuters