VATICAN CITY, 3 SEP 2011 (VIS) – Given below is the text of a telegram sent in the Holy Father’s name by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. to Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello S.D.B. of Santiago de Chile, president of the Episcopal Conference of Chile, for a plane crash in the Juan Fernandez Islands yesterday which caused the deaths of 21 people.

“His Holiness Benedict XVI, profoundly saddened on hearing the distressing news of the crash of a Chilean Air Force aeroplane, which came down near the Juan Fernandez Islands with many victims, offers fervent prayers for the eternal response of the deceased.

“I would ask Your Excellency to express the Pope’s heartfelt condolences, his closeness and his consolation, to the families who have suffered such a terrible loss, asking the Lord to pour upon them gifts of spiritual serenity and Christian hope, in sign of which he imparts the comfort of an apostolic blessing”.

TGR/                                                        VIS 20110905 (170)