Pope Francis expresses ‘closeness’ to victims of flooding in Europe

Pope Francis speaks during an inter-religious prayer service for peace along with other religious representatives in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, a church on top of Rome's Capitoline Hill, in Rome, Oct. 20. (Photo by Guglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters)

Pope Francis on Thursday expressed “spiritual closeness” to those affected by floods that devastated many parts of Europe this week.

In a telegram sent on Thursday evening, the pontiff said he was “deeply affected” on learning “the news of the severe storm and floods in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate.”

He assured his prayers for “the people who have lost their lives” especially “for the people who are still missing, for the wounded” and for those whose property has been damaged or destroyed “due to the power of nature.”

The pope said he “profoundly participates” in the loss of families of those who died, assuring his “spiritual closeness” to all who have been affected by the flooding.

At least 42 people have died in Germany and dozens were missing on Thursday as swollen rivers caused by record rainfall across western Europe swept through towns and villages, leaving cars upended, houses destroyed and people stranded on rooftops. - LiCAS.news