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Letter from CCCB President on the flooding in Pakistan

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My brother Bishops,

I am writing about the urgent situation in Pakistan. A few days ago the Holy Father invited us to show compassion and solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Pakistan who are suffering from catastrophic flooding. The situation there is a human disaster. There are reports of 20 million people affected – they have lost family members, and are injured, hungry, sick and homeless. In addition to their immediate needs, there is everything that will also need to be done to rebuild their communities as well as their economy and local agriculture, once the devastating floods end. The rains have simply destroyed roads, farms and homes.

I would like to inform you that Development and Peace launched an appeal on 8 August to collect donations from Canadians and help bring immediate assistance to the victims of the flooding. A special page on its website provides further information, at http://www.devp.org/devpme/eng/international/pakistan-eng.html.

As you are aware, Development and Peace assists communities in distress around the world. In this case, it will be working directly with Caritas Pakistan, the local Catholic agency for relief and assistance which is also a member of Caritas Internationalis, the Church's global humanitarian aid network. Caritas Pakistan is rooted in the local community. Despite their own personal losses, its volunteers and staff have been hard at work since the onset of the flooding, doing their best to meet the needs of others who are also suffering. The Development and Peace appeal offers us an opportunity to provide immediate support as well as long-term assistance.

Despite the magnitude of this disaster, the international response has not been quick in providing generous assistance for the needs of the Pakistani people. Probably we will need to reassure the faithful that the victims of the flooding, often the poorest in the country, are not responsible for their government's policies – if in fact this is a reason why some have been somewhat hesitant to respond to the Pakistan appeal.

If your diocese and parishes want to express their generosity and solidarity with the victims of the flooding, Development and Peace is already there with Caritas Pakistan to witness to the Church's presence now and in the future. Development and Peace is also prepared to assist the efforts of your diocese and parishes. As you know, the agency does not purchase advertising in the national media. However, it has prepared promotional material for diocesan and parish websites, as well as resources and images that can be easily incorporated into parish bulletins. These materials can help encourage a generous response to the disaster. The materials can be ordered from Mr. François Gloutnay by phone (514-257-8711) or email ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

Fraternally yours,

morissette
+ Pierre Morissette
Bishop of Saint-Jérôme
President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

Last Updated on Thursday, September 02 2010  
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On January 13th 2010, Most Reverend Vincent Nguyen became Canada’s first Catholic Bishop of East Asian descent. He is the great-grandson of a Vietnamese Martyr.