Arch Auza survives earthquake in Haiti
Tagbilaran City (15 January) -- AMID the widespread devastation brought about by an earthquake that flattened central Haiti, a Boholnao bishop and Vatican's apostolic nuncio to Haiti has survived and is safe.
Archbishop Bernardito Cleopas Auza, 50 years old, wrote on the Paring Bol-anon yahoo groups saying he is safe but is still camping outside due to sustaining tremors.
"I survived, but the devastation is totale (sic) at the city Center." Bishop Auza tells the Boholano clergy website.
We lost everything and thousands are still under the rubbles, crying for help, he added.
A native of Talibon, Bohol, Auza was born in 1959 and attended his early seminary training at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Tagbilaran City. He was ordained priest in 1985.
Auza completed his theological studies at the Pontifical University of Sto. Tomas Central Seminary, and entered the diplomatic service a year after his ordination.
Assigned First Counsellor of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York, he was appointed apostolic nuncio to Haiti by Pope Benedict VXI, elevating him to the dignity of archbishop.
Archbishop Auza also worked with Filipino peacekeepers manning the peace in conflict torn Haiti.
Television footages show thousands of rescuers desperately clawing though the rubbles and dead bodies as possibly the worst earthquake in the century flattened the city and local reports fear tens of thousands could have died or are still dying.
I toured the city during the whole night (January 12) until this morning and the horror is just too much, Bishop Auza shared to the clergy on the web.
Over the development, Pope Benedict has launched an appeal "for the dramatic situation currently being experienced in Haiti."
"My thoughts go in particular to the population hit by a devastating earthquake which has caused serious loss of human life, large numbers of homeless and missing people, and vast material damage.
"I invite everyone to join my prayers to the Lord for the victims of this catastrophe and for those who mourn their loss. I give assurances of my spiritual closeness to people who have lost their homes and to everyone who, in various ways, has been affected by this terrible calamity, imploring God to bring them consolation and relief in their suffering, the pope said.
"I appeal to the generosity of all people so that these our brothers and sisters who are experiencing a moment of need and suffering may not lack our concrete solidarity and the effective support of the international community. (PIA) [top]