May 21, 2013
WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, pledged prayers and support for the people of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, struck by tornadoes May 20.
He promised the support of the U.S. bishops and Catholics in the United States in a letter to Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City:
Dear Archbishop Coakley,
Our hearts ache with you as we learn of the terrible tornadoes that struck your archdiocese yesterday in the town of Moore outside Oklahoma City. As I expressed in our telephone call earlier today, the deaths of so many, especially beloved children in their school, call us to join you and the faithful of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City in prayer for the consolation of all who feel this terrible loss.
The experience of loss of family members, homes, neighborhoods, and even the local hospital, shows a devastation that impels us to stand with you and all the good people of Moore both in prayer for comfort and in efforts for disaster relief to ease the suffering of those whose lives have been affected by this dreadful disaster.
May the words of Jesus, “Behold I am with you always,” and who calmed the storms, bring hope and comfort at this sensitive moment in the history of your diocese which sadly has known great tragedy before from other natural disasters, but which has always united in courageous and loving efforts to restore hope to all.
May all those affected by such pain feel the strength God offers them and the compassion of all who stand with them, be it in their hometown or miles away.
Timothy Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York
President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops