(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a telegram expressing his condolences to the families of victims of widespread wildfires in northern California, and promising prayers for all those affected.
Signed by the Secretary of State of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and jointly addressed to the Archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, and Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, the telegram promises Pope Francis’ prayerful solidarity with everyone affected by the fires.
It goes on to say Pope Francis is especially mindful of those who mourn the loss of their loved ones and who fear for the lives of those still missing, and offers Pope Francis’ encouragement to civil authorities and emergency workers.
The wildfires sweeping through California have killed at least 31 people and damaged thousands of homes, businesses and other buildings.
More than 20 thousand people have been displaced by 21 fires, and as many as 400 people remain missing amid the chaos of displacement and the ongoing battle to bring the blazes under control.
Below, please find the full text of the Telegram
The Most Reverend Salvatore Joseph Cordileone
Archbishop of San Francisco
The Most Reverend José Horacio Gómez
Archbishop of Los Angeles
Informed of the tragic loss of life and the destruction of property caused by the wildfire in California, the Holy Father assures you of his heartfelt solidarity and his prayers for all those affected by this disaster. He is especially mindful of those who mourn the loss of their loved ones and who fear for the lives of those still missing. His Holiness offers encouragement to the civil authorities and emergency personnel as they assist the victims of this tragedy. To all he sends his blessing.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State