9 to 12 MARCH 2000
Wishing to assure the people of Mozambique of his spiritual closeness to them in their suffering due to disastrous flooding, His Holiness Pope John Paul II, who already in the prayer of the Angelus of this past Sunday invited all "to continue generously in emergency work", has decided to send Archbishop Cordes, President of the Pontifical Council COR UNUM, to Mozambique. His trip is to be a sign of solidarity and comfort.
On Friday, 10 March, the President of the Pontifical Council COR UNUM will meet in Maputo with the foreign organizations for assistance and relief who are cooperating with Caritas Mozambique. They are working in the stricken areas, under prohibitive conditions, to carry to safety persons suffering from thrust and sickness. Coordination of the aid and assistance to the survivors is, in fact, the principle problem at this time. On the same day, Archbishop Cordes will meet with government authorities. On Saturday and Sunday, 11 and 12 March, His Excellency will visit the areas hardest hit by the floods: Xai-Xai, Inhambane, the area south of Beira as well as that to the north of Maputo, meeting the Bishops, missionaries and the people of the regions. The Archbishop will deliver a gift from the Holy Father and from the Committee for the Great Jubilee.
It is useful to recall that the Church, throughout the world, has promptly responded to the cry of the poor, especially through national Caritas organizations, collecting until today 1,650,000 dollars for our brothers and sisters in Mozambique. This contribution is only the beginning of support for a country which today faces a gravely uncertain future.