Following the severe earthquakes in Syria and Turkey, a special collection is being promoted by the German Bishops’ Conference in all Catholic celebrations on the second Sunday of Lent (4-5 March). “Proceeds from the collection will go to support and boost relief efforts for disaster victims”. The funds raised will be made available to Catholic charities and aid organizations active in the region, most notably Caritas International. The President of the German Bishops’ Conference and Bishop of Limburg, Mgr. Georg Bätzing, said in a statement yesterday: “We are still receiving appalling images and news from earthquake-hit areas in Syria and Turkey. The scale of destruction is hard to fathom. With around 47,000 deaths and hundreds of thousands of people left homeless, this natural disaster has turned into a huge humanitarian crisis. Our prayers go to those who have lost their lives and their families. Our material support to the poorest among the poor remains essential. Solidarity is highly needed at the moment. I am grateful to the dioceses that provided financial aid to the region in a prompt and red-tape-free way. Requests for donations from humanitarian organizations are also welcome. But we see that many needs still have to be met. Which is why the German Bishops invite the faithful to a special collection at the beginning of Lent. Syria and Turkey must not be forgotten”.