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Pope prays for Ecuador, addresses Ukraine "emergency"

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 01:20

Pope Francis tells the people of Ecuador he is praying for them in their moment of suffering, and calls for the faithful to give generously to help the people of Ukraine. Rough Cut - Subtitled (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT - SUBTITLED (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Pope Francis on Wednesday (April 20) said he was praying for those suffering in Ecuador following recent earthquakes. He also called on people to give generously to a church collection to take place on Sunday April 24 to raise funds for the "humanitarian emergency" in Ukraine. Speaking in Spanish during the general audience, Pope Francis paused briefly to speak about Ecuador. "I want to say to our brothers and sisters in Ecuador, we are close to them and praying for them in their moment of suffering" he told thousands of people gathered to watch him in St. Peter's Square. A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck off the coast of Ecuador on Wednesday, just days after a major quake hit the country, killing 480 people. The latest quake was centred 70 km (44 miles) off the Pacific coast town Esmeraldas at a depth of 10 km, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said, not far from the epicenter of Saturday's 7.8 magnitude quake. The Pope also spoke at the general audience about a special collection for Ukraine, announced last week. It will be taken up in all of Europe's Roman Catholic churches on April 24 to raise funds to help the people of Ukraine. "The Ukrainian people have been suffering for some time due to the consequence of an armed conflict forgotten by many," the pontiff said. "As you know I have invited the Church in Europe to support my initiative to meet this humanitarian emergency. I thank in advance, all those who will give generously to this initiative which will take place on April 24." Violence has intensified recently in eastern Ukraine between government forces and Russian-backed rebels, international monitors have warned. Implementation of a deal agreed in Minsk last year, which would allow for the lifting of sanctions on Russia, and a lull in violence late last year had raised hopes that the conflict that has killed more than 9,000 people could be resolved soon. The vast majority of Christians living in Ukraine are Orthodox but there are about a million Roman Catholics and about four million Eastern Rite Catholics who are in unity with the church in Rome. There are about 120,000 Roman Catholic parishes in Europe, with the largest number - about 27,000 - in Italy.

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Pope prays for Ecuador, addresses Ukraine "emergency"

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 01:20