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Pope sends condolences on anniversary of disco fire that killed 194 in Buenos Aires

2013-12-31

Pope Francis sent a letter expressing his condolences to the families of the 194 victims killed in a fire at a Buenos Aires nightclub in 2004.

His message was read out loud on Monday, during a service at Buenos Aires' Metropolitan Cathedral, to mark the ninth anniversary of the fire.  

In his message for the families, Pope Francis talked about healing their wounds with tenderness to allow their pain to diminish. He also encouraged the parents to seek consolation in God and among each other.

The Cromañón disco fire was the most deadly accident of its kind in the Pope's native Argentina. It began with the use of pyrotechnics during a local band's performance at the club.

FULL TEXT OF THE LETTER IN SPANISH

A mons. Jorge Lozano, obispo de Gualeguaychú y Presidente de la Comisión Episcopal de Pastoral Social (CEPAS).

Querido hermano:

"En estos días en que se renueva la esperanza no puedo olvidar a los chicos de Cromañón, a sus padres y a sus familiares. Sé que vos estás muy cercano a ellos y por eso te pido que les hagas llegar mi recuerdo y mi cercanía.

"Las heridas duelen y más todavía cuando no se tratan con ternura. Mirando a Jesús niño, todo ternura, pido para con todos ellos esta actitud: que sepamos tratar con cuidado y ternura todas las heridas. Están allí: no es posible esconderlas ni negarlas. Sólo una tierna caricia desde nuestro corazón, con silencio y respeto puede aliviar.

"Y como la máximo ternura es la de Dios pidámosle a Él que a cada uno les acerque su consuelo cálido de padre y nos enseñe a todos a no quedarnos solos sino a seguir buscando la compañía de los hermanos. 

"A vos y a ellos les deseo una santa Navidad. Que Jesús los bendiga y la Virgen Santa los cuide.

"Y, por favor, no se olviden de rezar por mí”.

Fraternalmente,

Francisco.


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