(Vatican Radio) Peru’s Bishops have urged flood-stricken communities to keep hope alive and warn against the exploitation of land which derives from disregard towards “sister nature”.
In a letter published by the Peruvian Bishops’ Conference (CEP), the bishops invite all Peruvians to increase solidarity and works of charity to help those who have lost everything in the floods.
Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni:
Floods and landslides in the nation have caused devastation across large swathes of the country, and a growing number of deaths have been reported. At least 85 people have reportedly been killed and almost 12,000 are affected by displacement and loss of land according to a report by Peru’s National Emergency Center.
“It is not the time to point fingers at those who may be responsible, it is the time to pray, to show solidarity and to join forces” they write.
Calling for increased solidarity, the bishops urge the population not to be afraid, but to trust in God’s providence.
“It is time, they warn, to respect sister nature and to take action to prevent the planning of new cities.”
The bishops also invite the victims of the floods to take care of each other, especially of the most vulnerable, bearing in mind the needs of children, elderly people and women when aid is distributed.
And to those who are still facing the fury of nature they say: “you must be courageous, like the Virgin Mary before the cross, be steady in your faith and certain that this terrible moment will pass”.
Pointing to the work carried out by parishes and local Caritas offices, the bishops end their message inviting those who have not been directly affected to be generous, “even if this means making sacrifices”.
“Peru has been called in the past to show its strength and must continue to do so because its people are courageous and have faith in the Lord and in His mercy” they conclude.