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Germany: floods, parishes and dioceses mobilise. Caritas offices hold fundraisers

Faced with a rising number of dead and missing people, with large areas in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate still flooded by tributaries of the Rhine River, the dioceses are getting ready to help those who have lost everything. In the Archdiocese of Cologne, a coordination team has been set up to gather information about the situation in individual communities, and accommodation is being sought to shelter people. Card. Ranier Woelki, the website of the Archdiocese reads, has made 15 rooms available at the Albertine College in Bonn, and the Archdiocese is checking whether other accommodation facilities can be provided. The Diocese of Trier has set up a task force, under the direction of Auxiliary Bishop Jörg Michael Peters, to coordinate aid in the areas most affected by the floods. “The weather has improved, but the situation is still dramatic and sometimes confusing”, the Auxiliary Bishop told the media outlets of the Diocese. Together with Bishop Stephan Ackermann, “I am in contact with pastoral workers on the spot, where the lines have not collapsed”. They reported to us that “everyone has an overwhelming desire to help”. This weekend, there will be a meeting with representatives of the affected deaneries to understand what immediate, medium and long-term aid is necessary. The parishes that were not affected by the floods were asked to provide emergency accommodation. Many fundraisers have already been launched by diocesan Caritas offices. But above all, according to Mgr. Peters, “many people are faced with the ruins of their existence, having to mourn relatives and friends. We want to be there for them”.

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