Pope ‘deeply moved’ by ‘immense’ devastation caused by Harvey

(Crux) Pope Francis on Thursday said he was “deeply moved” by the suffering caused by the impact of Hurricane Harvey in Houston and other parts of Texas and Louisiana, producing what the pontiff described as a “tragic loss of life” and “immense material devastation.”

The pope also expressed his “spiritual closeness” to the victims, and urged Americans to call upon their tradition of generosity in responding to the needs created by the storm.

Francis “trusts that the immense and immediate needs of so many individuals and communities will continue to inspire a vast outpouring of solidarity and mutual aid in the best traditions of the nation,” a message released by the Vatican on Thursday said.

As is customary in situations of tragedy and natural disaster, the message was signed by Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, and addressed to Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston – in this case, not in his role as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, but as the bishop of the affected area. [More]