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Cardinal George
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His Eminence, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela
Archbishop of Madrid
Bailen 8
28071 Madrid
SPAIN

March 15, 2004

Your Eminence,

During these days when the nation of Spain, and in particular the people of the Archdiocese of Madrid, are filled with shock and grief, I write to express my personal solidarity and to offer the condolences of the Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago. We are horrified and saddened as we continue to receive accounts and images of the railroad bombings which have taken several hundred innocent lives and injured many more. This attack on the people of Spain stirs up among us the pain, anger, and fear that swept the United States after similar tragedies in recent years.

These same recollections of national suffering also refresh our memories of the generous support and assistance that were so abundantly shared with us by other members of the family of nations, including Spain. As fellow Catholics, we share an even deeper communion in the Church. We mourn each other’s sufferings and are also comforted by the hope we share as people gathered by Christ and in Christ. The Catholics of the Archdiocese of Chicago are praying for all those who have died, were injured, or are in mourning after this attack. We also remember the rescue workers, medical personnel, chaplains and others who are vital instruments of healing and hope. In a particular way, Your Eminence, I pray for you and your bishops, priests, deacons and other pastoral workers whose ministry extends the compassionate presence of Christ. At times like this, people more than ever need to be reminded that in Christ they are never alone and that, by His grace, reconciliation and peace are possible after even the most overwhelmingly evil acts.

Your Eminence, if there are any particular ways that I can assist you and your people at this time, please do not hesitate to call upon me. In the meantime, I extend the support of my prayers. May our unity in time of great suffering increase our determination to proclaim the sanctity of human life and to bear witness to the dignity of every person as made in the image and likeness of God.


Fraternally yours in Christ,

Francis Cardinal George, OMI
Archbishop of Chicago

 

 

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