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Condolence message on train derailment in Spain

WCC general secretary's letter to the Roman Catholic archdiocese expressing solidarity and offering prayers to the victims of train derailment in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

26 July 2013

WCC general secretary's letter to the Roman Catholic archdiocese expressing solidarity and offering prayers for the victims of train derailment in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Your Eminence,

We are deeply sorrowful at the news of the deaths and injury resulting from the train derailment that took place on Wednesday near Santiago de Compostela.

On behalf of the World Council of Churches and on my own behalf, please allow me to express our solidarity with the families of the victims, with those injured and with the whole Spanish people in your suffering.

Please be assured that we are united in prayer for those who lost their lives in this catastrophe, and we mourn together with their families, friends and with all pilgrims who had been making their way to Santiago.

The weekly common prayer that takes place in the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva next Monday will address this tragic event and similar disasters that have occurred throughout the world in recent weeks. We shall offer prayers in memory of those who passed away and prayers of intercession for the healing of the injured and for the consolation of all who are affected by this tragedy.

While praying and mourning in the aftermath of this catastrophe, we call upon all those responsible for the security of public transport in Europe and beyond to strengthen their efforts in order to avoid such disastrous events in the future.

Unfortunately, during the past month similar travel accidents have caused the deaths and injury of many victims in different parts of the world. God has given us the gift of life as a precious gift, and no resource should be considered too expensive in protecting and preserving it.

Yours in our common Lord,

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
WCC general secretary