Fund established by Pope to help families
Pope Francis has set up a fund aimed at helping families and individuals of Rome diocese who are in economic difficulty due to the Covid-19 crisis.
In a letter to the Vicariate of Rome last week, the Holy Father says the Jesus the Divine Worker Fund will support those who have lost their jobs and their livelihoods because of the pandemic.
“As bishop of Rome I have decided to establish the ‘Jesus the Divine Worker Fund’ to reaffirm the dignity of work, with an initial allocation of one million euros,” wrote Pope Francis.
In particular, the fund is for “those who risk being excluded from institutional protection and who need support until they can walk again unaccompanied”.
“Many are fathers and mothers who struggle to set the table for their children and make sure they receive the bare minimum,” he continued.
“This Fund is intended to be a sign that is capable of urging all people of good will to offer a concrete gesture of inclusion, especially towards those who seek comfort, hope and recognition of their rights.”
All of us responsible for child labour, says Pontiff
Pope Francis has appealed to the international community to protect the numerous boys and girls who are deprived of their childhood and forced into child labour.
The Holy Father noted that World Day Against Child Labour, which was marked on June 12, signifies a phenomenon which he said “endangers” the integral development of so many boys and girls.
Pope Francis noted that “in the current health emergency situation, in several countries many children and young people are forced into jobs that are inappropriate for their age, in order to help their families in conditions of extreme poverty”.
He added that “these are forms of slavery and imprisonment, resulting in physical and psychological suffering”.
“All of us are responsible for this,” claimed the Pope, who called on institutions to “make every effort to protect minors”.
The Holy Father asked institutions to ensure that the economic and social gaps, which underlie the distorted dynamic in which they are unfortunately involved, are filled.
Swiss Guard swearing-in moved to October
The Pontifical Swiss Guard has confirmed that 38 recruits will be sworn-in on October 4, but that the ceremony will take place without guests.
The event, which should have taken place on May 6, will be held behind closed doors in accordance with the “current rules of protection” to avoid infection due to the Covid-19 virus.
Although no parents, family members or guests will be present, live television broadcasting and streaming of the “unique event” will be shown on the official website of the Swiss Guards at guardiasvizzera.ch.
The programme will include Holy Mass with the recruits in St Peter’s Basilica, while the swearing-in ceremony will take place in the San Damasus Courtyard.
Pope Francis expressed the hope that their service in the Vatican and their time spent in Rome would bring those they encounter “a word of comfort and a gesture of brotherhood, so that they may become convincing witnesses of the risen Christ, alive and present in every age”.
The date of the swearing-in (May 6) commemorates the 147 Swiss Guards who fell defending Pope Clement VII during the Sack of Rome in 1527.