Saturday, 12 March 2011

Prayers for Japan

Our prayers are needed for the people of Japan.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has sent a message of condolence to the Anglican Archbishop of Japan, the Most Rev Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu:

“The news of the horrific earthquake in Japan has shocked us all. We await further and more detailed news with apprehension, but I want to say immediately that our hearts and our prayers go out to all who have been affected and that we as a church will do what we can to offer practical as well as spiritual support at this time of great suffering and great anxiety for so many.”

The Vatican says Pope Benedict XVI is praying for those who died in Japan's major earthquake and consequent tsunamis. He is "deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic" affects of the natural catastrophe, and is invoking "divine blessings of strength and consolation" on grieving friends and families.
Hundreds were dead or missing following Friday's 8.9 magnitude earthquake — the largest in Japan's history.
The pope also expressed solidarity with those providing rescue, relief and support. Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone relayed papal condolences in the message to the head of the Japanese bishop's conference, Leo Jun Ikenaga.

Damage from the magnitude 8.9 earthquake and ensuing tsunamis were preventing church officials in Japan from assessing needs as tsunami warnings were issued for 50 other countries and territories. Yasufumi Matsukuma, a staffer at the Japanese bishops' conference, told the Asian church news agency UCA News that most staffers would remain in the offices overnight because of suspended rail service and continuous aftershocks. "In Tokyo, telephone lines are so busy that I cannot contact diocesan chancellor offices in Japan. Aftershocks have followed. The tsunamis are terrible and we cannot get any information concerning the church yet," he said. [report from CNS here]

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