Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima presided at the blessing of the new Church of St. Clement in the city of Pisco and said the rebuilding of the city devastated by a 2007 earthquake should be a reason for unity, not an occasion for in-fighting and arguments.
“Let’s work together. Let’s make this process of reconstruction a reason for unity, joy and happiness and not for arguments and fighting,” the cardinal said during Mass at the new church on Sept. 1.
Pisco, which was devastated by a 7.9 magnitude earthquake on Aug. 15, 2007, is still “in poor shape, but it is the responsibility of everyone” to care for it, the cardinal said. The earthquake killed over 300 people and injured hundreds of others.
“How easy it is to blame others,” the cardinal reflected. “We have had to fight to get this new church built, and for this reason during my visit here I am calling on everyone to work together in greater unity.”
Before the hundreds of faithful gathered for Mass, Cardinal Cipriani recalled that after the earthquake he pledged the solidarity of all the parishes of Lima to help rebuild the church. “I also recall that after the tragedy, the priests of Lima reached out to help our brothers and sisters in Pisco,” he said.
Cardinal Cipriani reaffirmed the Church’s will to always be at the side of her people “as mother and teacher, always opening her arms to welcome all.”
“We don’t play around with the poor, we don’t talk (badly) about the poor, and we help everyone. We make no distinctions, because from her beginnings the Church has had special concern for the sick, the poor, the elderly, the afflicted, but she never established an ideology in favor of the poor and against the rich. Rich or poor, black or white, we are all one family, the family of the children of God,” he said.