Pope's call for "swift and generous" aid for quake victims

Pope Benedict XVI has appealed to the international community to be "swift and generous" in dispatching aid to people of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan stricken by the weekend's earthquake.

CLICK HERESpeaking from the balcony of his office just after the Angelus prayer, the Holy Father said he commended to God all those had died and he expressed his "deepest sympathy" to the many thousands who were injured or bereaved.

Pakistan's president has sought international help to cope as the death toll from a massive earthquake nears 20,000.

"It is such a horrendous situation that one cannot imagine. Casualties are increasing by the hour," said Pakistani interior minister Aftab Sherpao.

Meanwhile the Catholic Bishops Conference of India is reporting that local Diocesan Social work personnel, along with members of Caritas India, have moved to Srinagar and Baramulla for the relief and rescue works. The Diocesan fathers along with the Mother Teresa Sisters have also joined them.

Bishop Peter Celestine, who is currently in Baramulla is touring the earthquake affected areas. He has condoled the death of victims of the bereaved family members.

The Bishops Conference says the Jammu and Kashmir tremor and aftershocks have affected the entire region, and people are in "a state of emotional traumatic experiences".

"The private and public institutions at work including schools were in a state of fright and fear. Most of the Diocesan schools were having mid term examinations."

Pope urges "swift and generous" aid for South Asia quake victims (AsiaNews.it 9/10/05)
Church Agencies Join Rescue And Relief Work: Report From Kashmir (Catholic Bishops Conference of India 9/10/05)

Hundreds Die Due To Quake In India And Pakistan; Church Leaders Express Solidarity With Victims (Catholic Bishops Conference of India 8/10/05)
South Asia quake: people fear and pray (AsiaNews.it 9/10/05)
Killer Quake Kills 300 in J & K, 18,000 in Pakistan; Church Agencies Rush Relief (Catholic Bishops Conference of India 9/10/05)

German newspaper says Pope Benedict was spied on when he was cardinal (Catholic News Service 7/10/05)
Children's book on John Paul II published in Spain (Catholic News Agency 7/10/05)
Report: Former East Germans Spied on Pope (Leading the Charge 8/10/05)
Files reveal Stasi spied on Joseph Ratzinger (The Tablet 8/10/05)
Spirit Was as Work Amid a Troubled Century, Says Pope (Zenit 6/10/05)

10 Oct 2005