Brasilia (Agenzia Fides) - "We ask every Catholic Christian, men and women of good will, to share the pain of those who have lost what little they had, victims of the climate tragedy. We especially support the bereaved and homeless families. Our Church is already mobilizing to help. Let's all go together". This is the appeal launched by the Presidency of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB) after the torrential rains that fell on Petropolis, a tourist town in the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro, killing dozens and homeless, according to a still provisional toll.
The message from the Presidency of the CNBB, sent to Fides, underlines that the consternation aroused by the incident "touches our Christian faith, urging us to act together" and invites us to be in communion with the bishop and the beloved people of God of the diocese of Petrópolis in prayer and action: "We are all called to bear witness to our faith by exercising solidarity". The initiatives in support of the victims are "a Christian commitment and an indispensable task for those in positions of power". Petropolis urgently calls for help!" the Bishops exhort.
The Presidency of the Leste 1 - CNBB Region also expresses its solidarity with all the inhabitants of Petropolis who suffered the impacts of the strong storm that hit the city, leaving a trail of destruction and death.
"We ask the Catholic Church present in the State of Rio de Janeiro to join in prayer, so that these affected brothers and sisters may find comfort in the midst of the pain of the loss of their relatives, family and friends". They therefore invite people to start a great chain of solidarity in our churches by sending donations to the Diocese of Petrópolis. All funds collected will be used for emergency actions and to help affected families. The latest report from Brazil's civil defense department says the death toll has risen to 94 and the number of missing people to 34. There are also eight children among the dead. Torrential rain, which fell on the region on the night of Tuesday 15 as it had not happened for at least 90 years, caused 269 landslides, numerous floods, destroyed dozens of houses, caused walls and trees to fall. It is feared that many people may still find themselves trapped under rubble or in the mud. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 17/2/2022)