HOBART — Pope Benedict XVI has expressed his sadness and concern at destruction caused by bush fires in Tasmania.
A letter to Archbishop Adrian Doyle of Hobart written on January 8 by Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone reads:
“The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, was saddened to learn of the widespread destruction caused by the recent wild fires in Tasmania and he sends the assurance of his closeness in prayer to all those affected.
“For the many who have lost their homes and for all who are awaiting news of missing loved ones, he prays that assistance and support will be speedily forthcoming. He commends the rescue workers and firefighters to the protection of the Almighty and he invokes God’s blessing upon the people of Tasmania as a pledge of consolation and hope.”