(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has donated 50,000 Euro in aid for victims of the 12 June earthquake on the Greek island of Lesbos, according to the Apostolic Nunciature of Greece.
“It is an unexpected donation and concrete sign of the closeness and affection of [Pope] Francis for the population, which has been deeply tried by the 6.3-magnitude earthquake,” remarked Msgr. Massimo Catterin, chargé d affaires of the Nunciature.
The Pope’s donation will be used to help out the Orthodox village of Vrisa, which was completely destroyed in the tremors. One 43-year old woman was killed by falling debris.
Msgr. Catterin said the donation came “after Archbishop Nikólaos Printesis of Naxos, Andros, Tinos, and Mykonos, who is also the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Chios, had asked the Nunciature to inform the Holy Father of the situation on the island.”
He said, “The Pope’s donation has great value, also from an ecumenical point-of-view, since those who will benefit the most are Orthodox faithful. Indeed, on Lesbos there are only 50 Catholics.”
Msgr. Catterin said the decision on how to distribute the funds would be made when he and Archbishop Printesis visit Vrisa next week.
“There is great recognition and appreciation towards the Pope on Lesbos. He knows the seismic emergency adds to the weight of the first emergency related to migrants.”
(Devin Sean Watkins)