Pope Benedict XVI has sent the following message of condolence to Catholic Bishop of Christchurch, Bishop Barry Jones.
The Right Reverend Barry Jones
Bishop of Christchurch
The Holy Father was saddened to learn of the sudden devastation and loss of life in the city of Christchurch due to the recent earthquake. He wishes to express his spiritual closeness to everyone who has been affected, and sends his condolences to the families of all who mourn the loss of loved ones. Commending the deceased to the merciful love of God, His Holiness assures the people of the city and the nation of his prayers for all those who are working urgently to rescue and assist the trapped and the injured, as well as for those labouring to restore essential services. Upon all the people of New Zealand, the Holy Father willingly invokes Almighty God’s blessings of courage and strength.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
Secretary of State