Pope Francis sent a telegram to the people of Iran Wednesday, offering condolences for the casualties and destruction caused by extreme flooding in the country.
“His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the loss of life, injury and damage caused by floods afflicting various regions of Iran, and he has asked me to convey his heartfelt solidarity with all affected,” read the telegram, signed on the pope’s behalf by Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
Torrential rain and floods across most of Iran this week has resulted in the death of 23 people with scores more injured. In the worst-hit city of Shiraz, the inundation took the lives of 19 people Tuesday, leaving another 98 injured.
Wednesday’s telegram said that Pope Francis “commends the souls of the deceased to the love of the Merciful One, and invokes divine blessings of consolation and strength on those who grieve.”
“Praying for the emergency personnel and all the efforts to provide relief, he entrusts the people of Iran to the providence of the Almighty,” it read.
Iran’s energy minister has blamed the calamity, which hit in the midst of Iranian New Year holidays, on “climate change.”
The pope has begun sending regular telegrams to those who suffer from extreme weather events and has expressed his conviction that the frequency of these events is caused by climate change, which, he claims, should be apparent to all.
In an address to young people in Rome Tuesday, Francis said that a dangerous ego-centrism easily mutates into “a refusal to be challenged by the evident destruction of creation!”
“This is a disgrace!” he said.
The pope has said that humanity is experiencing a “climate emergency” and that skepticism regarding the dangers of human-induced climate change is a “perverse” attitude that imperils the world.
“We need a conversation that unites us all, because the environmental challenge we are experiencing, and its human roots, affects us all,” Francis said in late 2017.
Four “perverse” attitudes that obstruct the quest for concrete solutions to the problem of climate change “range from denial of the problem to indifference, nonchalant resignation, or blind trust in technical solutions,” he said.
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