In a letter dated the 9th of June addressed to Cardinal Vicar of Rome Angelo De Donatis, Pope Francis announced he had “as Bishop of Rome, decided to institute in the Diocese the ‘Jesus the Divine Worker Fund’ to reaffirm the dignity of work, with an initial allocation of one million euros.”
Pope Francis said the fund will help those most gravely affected by coronavirus and the measures used to the control the spread of the pandemic in Italy.
“There are many fathers and mothers of a family who are fighting with difficulty to be able to set the table for their children and to guarantee there will be the minimum needed.”
More specifically, he said the fund was for “those who risk being excluded from institutional protection and who need support until they can walk again unaccompanied.”
“My thoughts go to the great number of daily and occasional workers, to those with fixed-term contracts that have not been renewed, to those who are paid by the hour, to interns, domestic workers, small entrepreneurs, self-employed workers, especially those in sectors most affected by the pandemic and their related industries.”
Pope Francis said “all of us, beginning with the institutions, are called to contribute” to the fund, appealing to the “good hearts of all Romans” that “it is not sufficient to share only the superfluous.” Appealing to priests, he called on them “to be the first to contribute to the fund,” and to be “enthusiastic supporters of sharing” in their communities.
The donation of a million Euros is headed to Caritas, the charitable organization for the Diocese of Rome, a diocese where Pope Francis wants to see a return to “normality” after the pandemic.
“This time of suffering we are living because of the pandemic, besides sowing sorrow and worry, is seriously weakening the social fabric of our city. The Church in our city is present and accompanies the weak with her charity, and is ready to collaborate with the city’s institutions and with all the social and economic realities.”
Closing his letter, he urged Romans to let “‘next-door-neighbor solidarity’ flourish in our city.”
“May the Lord bless our diocesan community and the whole city. I invoke on all the strength and consolation and protection of Mary Salus Populi Romani.”