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Sea Sunday: Seafarers And Their Families Are Not Invisible To God And The Church
Rome (radiovaticana): ‘Seafarers and their families are not invisible to the eyes of God and the Church’ said Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, President of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, in a message published on the eve of the Sea Sunday, which will be celebrated today around the world.
For over ninety years the Apostolate of the Sea (AOS) recognizes their hard work, their difficulties and sufferings and offer pastoral care through its chaplains and volunteers.
Through the annual celebration of the Sea Sunday, it is hoped that the Christian communities and society in general recognize first of all the people of the sea as human beings who contribute to making our lives more comfortable, and then we give thanks for the work and sacrifices", the message noted.
Before the advent of globalization, the maritime industry has played an important role in the transport of consumer goods, raw materials and finished products, as well as a large number of emigrants. This is especially true today given the 90% of world trade moves by sea, and carry millions of passengers in a pleasure trip aboard cruise ships.
The construction of new ports away from the cities, the rapid turnover of ships and little time to go ashore, ensure that seafarers are often invisible to society, unless the media does not speak, for a short period of time, following an attack by pirates or a shipwreck.
‘We consider the sea as a professional and qualified workforce, often working in very dangerous situations, including stress pirate attacks and the unknown force of the stormy waters. We note that the seamen do their job in very difficult conditions on board vessels old and rusty, that they are victims of criminalization and neglect and often happens that their salary is paid late even if not paid.
Consider that seafarers are members of a family forced to live away from their loved ones and friends for many consecutive months, sharing the limited space of the ship with other crew members of different nationalities.
We must promote greater awareness of the importance of providing them with protection against abuse and exploitation of more than 1.2 million seafarers of the world.
The concluded the message with a renewed the invitation to participate in the XXIII World Congress of the Apostleship of the Sea, which is scheduled to be held in Vatican, from 19 to 23 November 2012, with the theme: The new evangelization in the maritime world.
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