Bishop remembers victims of Chilean plane crash

Santiago, Chile, Sep 6, 2011 / 01:58 pm (CNA).- The president of the Chilean Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Ricardo Ezzati, encouraged Chileans to follow the example of service offered by the victims of a Sept. 2 plan crash. The group was traveling to the Juan Fernandez islands to help victims of the earthquake that struck Chile last year.

“Unbeknownst to some and plainly clear to others, they followed the path of Jesus, who came to give his life and said there is more joy in giving than in receiving,” Bishop Ezzati said during a Sept. 4 Mass.

The Chilean air force jet carrying 21 passengers crashed Sept. 2 after making two attempts to land in heavy winds on Robinson Crusoe Island in the Juan Fernandez archipelago.

Among those killed was Felipe Camiroaga, a popular television host in Chile, and Felipe Cubillos, a spokesman for a major relief organization that is helping the country rebuild from the earthquake and tsunami of February 2010.

May the example of these men and women, “who desired to work for a more beautiful, just and fraternal Chile, help us all to see that we can all contribute to building a beautiful and great country,” he said.

Their sacrifice “reminds us that the well-being of the country, the development of all is also the fruit of the commitment of all, of our making our lives a gift so that there can be more life, more peace and more solidarity,” the bishop said.

He offered his sympathy to the family members of the victims and invited the entire country “to turn toward heaven and see how the fatherly hand of God is upon our country, to caress us with his love, with his fatherly love, his love that brings consolation.”

Pope Benedict offered his condolences to Archbishop Ezzati, offering prayers for the deceased.