On 17th March 2011, the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, which is responsible for the overall direction of the Apostleship of the Sea, made this statement from the Vatican.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We have seen the dramatic images of buildings shaking and collapsing for the most powerful earthquake followed by the devastating tsunami that hit the Northern Japan only a few days ago. It is still early to realize the magnitude of the tragedy, entire cities are destroyed, hundreds of people are dead and ten of thousands are displaced. I do not have words to express my solidarity to all the people affected by this tragedy and I assure them that they are in my thoughts and prayers.
The government emergency and rescue response has being immediate and it will continue for weeks and months. However, I understand that facing this immense catastrophe even a technological advanced and developed country like Japan needs assistance to rebuild the lives of broken families and communities.