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Filipino Cardinal Tagle: Images of destruction caused by typhoon left me speechless

Vatican Radio - Sun, Nov 17th 2013

(Vatican Radio) The head of the Catholic church in the Philippines, Cardinal Luis Tagle says every times he sees images of the massive destruction caused by typhoon Haiyan he’s left speechless. At the same time, Cardinal Tagle says he is consoled by the love and solidarity that is pouring in from all over the world in the wake of this disaster. He spoke to Susy Hodges.

Listen to the full interview with Cardinal Tagle: RealAudioMP3 

Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, talks frankly about the distress he and others experience when they see the extent of the devastation wrought by typhoon Haiyan in their homeland. “To be honest with you, I think I’m not alone in saying every time we see images of the destruction we are left speechless.” “We are still recovering from the emotional and psychological shock.” 

At the same time, the cardinal says he draws strength “from the love, the concern, the solidarity pouring in, not just from other parts of the Philippines but from all over world.” I’m deeply consoled when I see and hear testimonies of faith, especially from the victims who have lost loved ones. “They turn to God, saying in God we have hope.”

Cardinal Tagle goes on to describe how the Catholic Church is coordinating relief programmes to help the victims but says they have not yet heard from some bishops and other Church leaders in the worst affected areas because “communications are still down.” 

Asked whether he fears there will be people dying because of a lack of food, water and medicines in the aftermath of this huge disaster, the cardinal acknowledges there is “a real possibility of this” although the Church, the government, the military and aid organisations are all doing their best to reach out to the victims. However, he says he is “afraid that poor people living in far flung villages” in remote areas are at special risk of hunger and thirst in these coming days. 

Cardinal Tagle’s voice cracks with emotion when he sums up the plight facing his stricken homeland and the wonderful outpouring of solidarity it has engendered: “We see rubble and ruins everywhere but we see faith, hope and love and it’s making us stronger people. I want to thank the Holy Father, everyone…. For remembering us and trying their best to reach out, in the name of the victims and the poor, we really thank you”

Text from page 
of the Vatican Radio website 

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