‘Respect dignity of farm workers’, says Pope
Pope Francis has appealed for migrant farm workers, who pick crops with bad conditions and low pay, in Italy and worldwide to be respected and not exploited during the pandemic.
The Holy Father made a fervent appeal for the respect of the dignity of workers who have called out to him for help.
“I have received several messages on the world of work and its problems,” said the Pope during his General Audience last week. “In particular, I have been struck by the plight of farm labourers, many of them migrants, who work in the fields of the Italian countryside.
“Unfortunately,” he pointed out, “on many occasions they are very harshly exploited. It is true that there is a crisis for everyone, but people’s dignity must always be respected.
“That is why,” he continued, “I add my voice to the appeal of these workers and of all exploited workers.
“I urge everyone to use the crisis as an opportunity to focus once again on the dignity of the human person and make the dignity of work the centre of our concern.”
Pope combines Canada Diocese and Archdiocese
The Holy Father has ordered the merging of the Archdiocese of Ottawa and the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall in Canada. In doing so, Pope Francis has named current Archbishop of Ottawa, Terrence Prendergast, as Archbishop of the new ecclesiastical circumscription of Ottawa-Cornwall.
In addition, the Pope has appointed Bishop Marcel Damphousse as Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall, transferring him from the office of Bishop of Sault Sainte Marie.
Archbishop Prendergast, born in Montreal, was ordained a priest in 1972 and holds Master of Divinity and Doctor of Theology degrees from Regis College in Toronto.
He later served as Dean of Theology at the college before taking up the role of Executive Secretary of the Vatican’s Apostolic Visitation of Canadian seminaries.
Nominated a bishop in 1995, Archbishop Prendergast was installed as the Archbishop of Ottawa by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007.
Archbishop Damphousse, born in Manitoba, was ordained priest in 1991 and incardinated in the Archdiocese of Saint-Boniface.
He was appointed Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall in 2012 and was consecrated before being transferred to the Diocese of Sault Sainte Marie in November 2015.
Caritas joins Pope plea for global solidarity
Caritas Internationalis has followed Pope Francis’ request for the promotion of a ‘global creative solidarity’ to avoid another “humanitarian tragedy”.
The organisation said it is deeply concerned about the humanitarian crisis that is following the spread of coronavirus and urged the international community to take courageous and immediate actions.
“We are aware that we are facing an atypical emergency in which the countries that are normally among the largest donors are the most affected by the virus,” said Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis Aloysius John.
“This new humanitarian crisis cannot be stopped unless courageous actions are taken to support the most vulnerable communities.”
He stressed that “the use of international aid to respond to national needs is not the right solution” and if no immediate action is taken, “the consequences of the coronavirus will kill more people than the pandemic itself”.