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Mexican Archdiocese Opens Parishes as Relief Centers for Flood Victims

David Agren - Catholic News Service
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September 20, 2013

People wait to receive food rations in the flooded Mexican beach resort of Acapulco Sept. 18. (Tomas Bravo/Reuters)

The Archdiocese of Acapulco has suspended church services and instructed priests to turn their parishes into support centers after torrential rains on one of the busiest weekends of the year left the city cut off from other parts of Mexico.

The flooding forced residents to flee to safer ground and trapped thousands of tourists in what is normally a busy vacation period.

Mexicans across the country opened collection centers to support those affected by the storms. Caritas Mexico, the Catholic Church's charitable arm, opened a bank account and requested cash donations, saying goods would be too difficult to transport into the affected areas.

"The best way to bring our help is through economic resources that facilitate the support and reactivation of the local economy," the bishops said in a Sept. 17 statement.

"In this situation ... it is time to invoke divine help and invite bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated persons, faithful laity and all people of good will to show solidarity with those that are suffering this emergency."

Pope Francis also expressed solidarity with those affected by the twin storms.

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