Paul Samasumo – Vatican City
In his letter and video message, Cardinal Maurice Piat, who is the Bishop of Port-Louis in Mauritius, speaks about the socio-economic consequences of COVID-19 on the Island nation of the Indian Ocean. The magnitude of the situation is yet to be seen, says the Cardinal. He has welcomed several initiatives being undertaken to support Mauritians in precarious situations.
Parishes experiencing a shortfall of funds
“Following the closure of Churches on 20 March due to COVID-19, several people have asked what they can do to help the Church. Indeed, the (financial) shortfall in the parishes is high because they no longer have an income from the (various) pursuits, self-supporting activities, Mass Intentions, and other donations,” writes the Cardinal. He has told the faithful that parishes depend on this income to pay their staff and manage current costs. Besides, the Stay at Home order placed a tremendous financial burden on many families who rely on the informal and formal sector for survival, the Cardinal said. He further asserts that worse-off are those who have lost jobs,” reads the letter obtained by Vatican News.
Towards a society of high solidarity
The Cardinal in his letter continues, “This is why I appeal to the generosity and solidarity of parishioners to support their parishes and parish services meant for the poorest,” he said.
In the video message, the Cardinal says, in these difficult times of the COVID-19 crisis, Mauritians would do well to move from a society focused on high income to a society of high solidarity.
Preparations for post-COVID-19
Cardinal Piat also disclosed that the local Caritas is collaborating on a platform, created by various organisations and institutions, assessing the current emergency, and are preparing to cushion the post-COVID-19 impact.
Concluding the letter, the Port Louis prelate affirms, “You have always responded generously to our call, and I thank you very much.”