Nadbiskup Želimir Puljić/Photo: Patrik Macek/PIXSELL
The President of the Croatian Conference of Bishops, Archbishop Želimir Puljić of Zadar, issued a message of hope via Croatian Catholic Radio in the aftermath of the earthquake that occurred on December 29 at 12:19 p.m. The epicenter was near Petrinja.
“I am so shaken that I would rather be silent, pray to God and commiserate with people. I want to tell them that I am near,” said Archbishop Puljić, adding that he believed that all the inhabitants of Croatia are close to those afflicted by the earthquake. He also expressed his closeness to all who are helping the victims, from the army, police, firefighters and volunteers to those responsible for public services.
Archbishop Puljić especially expressed his closeness to Archbishop Josip Cardinal Bozanić of Zagreb and Bishop Vlado Košić of Sisak.
He thanked all those reporters who are trying to convey accurate information and also arouse hope.
“Have courage, people, you are not abandoned!” said the President of the CCB.
He also said that he sorrowed with the parents of the little girl who perished in the earthquake. “Let them be assured that they are not alone, not abandoned,” said Msgr. Puljić.
“Have courage, my nation1 Have courage, people! Someone is following all of this. There is Divine Providence, who follows the history of individuals and nations,” said the archbishop, concluding with the words of the psalmist:
“‘God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress. Thus we do not fear, though earth be shaken and mountains quake to the depths of the sea, though its waters rage and foam and mountains totter at its surging. Streams of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High. God is in its midst; it shall not be shaken; God will help it at break of day. Though nations rage and kingdoms totter, he utters his voice and the earth melts. The LORD of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.’”
“Do not be afraid, you are not alone—we are with you and, especially, Divine Providence is with you, and will accompany you in these difficult moments,” concluded Archbishop Puljić.