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Australian Church sends prayers and support to tsunami victims

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President, Archbishop Francis Carroll has expressed his prayerful sympathy to all of those affected by the tsunami disaster across the South East Asian region.

Archbishop Carroll said he is contacting the presidents of the Bishops Conferences of those countries hit by the natural disaster to express the support and solidarity of the Catholic Church in Australia.

"I am assuring them of our prayers and advising them of the support available from the Australian Church and asking for advice as to how best we can assist," he said.

Caritas Australia, the Church's overseas aid agency, responded immediately to the disaster and is working with its partners in the affected countries. People who wish to help Caritas assist those in need are able to donate funds to its public appeal.

"I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the Australian people to the call for assistance and thank them wholeheartedly," Archbishop Carroll said. "We must continue this support in the months and years ahead as our neighbour countries try to rebuild shattered lives and communities".

Director of Caritas Australia, Jack de Groot, anticipated a major increase in support to its Asia Earthquake Appeal over the last weekend, as thousands of Catholics attended Mass and special Church services to pray for those devastated by the unfolding disaster.

Before the weekend Caritas had already received $1.4million from generous Australians and hoped that the many Catholic Church goers would have the opportunity to make donations to Caritas' work in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia as well as other countries affected by the crisis.

"27% of the Australian population is Catholic and we know of their extraordinary generosity to suffering communities through their support of Caritas Australia. Parishes throughout Australia will be praying for the millions of people affected by this disaster over the weekend and in the weeks to come" said Mr de Groot.

Catholic Church sends prayers, support to Tsunami victims (Australian Catholic Bishops'Conference 31/12/04)
Catholic Church Parishes Support Caritas Asian Earthquake Appeal (Caritas Australia 1/1/05)

Caritas Australia | Caritas Australia Asian Eathquake/Tsunami Appeal
Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference

Illawarra groups fundraise for tsunami victims (ABC News 30/12/04)
God's will comments horrible, says dean (Sydney Morning Herald 3/1/05)
Nation digs deep (The Australian 3/1/05)

4 Jan 2005