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November 5, 1998
Most Reverend Oscar Andres Reodriguez M., S.D.B.
Archbishop of Tegucigalpa
President, Episcopal Conference of Honduras
FAX: (011)(504) 32-7838
I write in the name of the Bishops of the United States to express our profound sympathy with you and all the people of Honduras in this time of grief and sorrow. The devastation that has been visited upon virtually the entirety of your country as a result of Hurricane Mitch, with such great loss of life and incalculable suffering, touches us deeply.
It was only two weeks ago that members and staff of our Conference met, at Seton Hall University, with you and others from Honduras to share mutal concerns about the heavy burden of external debt that causes so much suffering to people in many countries, including Honduras. No one could then have imagined the degree of pain and destruction that the Honduran people have now been called upon to bear. Be assured to our prayers that the suffering people of Honduras will be given the grace and the strength to persevere and overcome this latest trial.
I am aware that the United States government is making a concerted effort to assist with emergency relief not only in Honduras but in all the countries of Central America affected by this hurricane. The response by our own Catholic Relief Services, as well as other non-governmental organizations, is a source of pride to us and, we hope, a consolation to you as well. It is a small but potent symbol of the hemispheric solidarity that we seek to make ever more concrete as we live out the hopes expressed at the Synod of America.
With repeated assurance of our prayers, I remain
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Anthony M. Pilla
Bishop of Cleveland
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