Wednesday, 08 April 2020 08:27

Pope Francis initiates a COVID-19 Emergency Fund

His Holiness Pope Francis established a COVID-19 emergency fund at the Pontifical Mission Societies. This was the statement released by the Agenzia Fides on April 6, 2020.
Pope Francis initiates a COVID-19 Emergency Fund

According to the statement, the funds initiated by the Supreme Pontiff will go directly to “mission countries” through the Church’s “structures and institutions” and the revenue generated in the emergency fund will be used as an “aid of those people and communities who are being tragically impacted by the spread of COVID-19”.

Pope Francis celebrates Palm Sunday Mass on April 5, 2020, at St. Peter’s Basilica, Italy. l Screenshot from EWTN’s live streaming

Aside from establishing the emergency fund, the Pope also contributed an initial 750,000 USD. He also appealed to Church institutions and individuals to donate through the Pontifical Mission Societies in every country.

Archbishop Dal Toso, President of the Pontifical Mission Societies stated that while the goal of the emergency fund is to assist the missionary territories of the Church, it is also a way to express the presence of the Church to her people, that Church be able to show love and compassion whenever people would feel alone and abandoned.

"This fund has the aim of supporting the presence of the Church in mission territories, which also suffers the consequences of Corona Virus. Through the Church’s activity of preaching the Gospel and of practical aid through our vast network, we can show that no one is alone in this crisis. In this sense, the Church’s institutions and ministers play a vital role. This is the Holy Father’s intention in establishing this fund. While so many are suffering, we remember and reach out to those who may have no one to care for them, thus showing forth the love of God the Father," the Archbishop said.

He also encouraged the Pontifical Mission Societies in every country, alongside their respective dioceses, to support this initiative.

He expressed his invitation, “I call upon our network of Pontifical Mission Societies, present in every diocese around the world, to do what they can to support this important initiative of the Holy Father."

Cardinal Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, affirmed the initiative of the Holy Father that the formation of an emergency fund is a preparation for any circumstances that might come as the Church faces threats such as the coronavirus pandemic.

"In her task of evangelization, the Church is often on the front lines of major threats to human well-being. In Africa alone, there are over 74,000 religious sisters and over 46,000 priests operating 7,274 hospitals and clinics, 2,346 homes for elderly and the vulnerable, and educating over 19 million children in 45,088 primary schools. In many rural areas they are the only providers of healthcare and education. The Holy Father is calling upon the Church’s entire vast network to face the challenges ahead," the Cardinal said.

The Pontifical Mission Societies, known in some countries as Missio, is a Catholic worldwide network of missionary animation and cooperation that is under the canonical jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome. 

Contributions can be made via bank wire transfer to: IT84F0200805075000102456047 (SWIFT UNCRITMM) for: Amministrazione Pontificie Opere Missionarie, indicating: Fund Corona-Virus (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC) 


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