By Vatican News
Italy continues to be the country with the highest number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Europe. On Wednesday, the Italian government further tightened restrictions by ordering the closure of all shops, except pharmacies and food stores.
In this atmosphere of growing concern, Pope Francis has sent a contribution of 100 thousand Euros to Italian Caritas. He made the donation through the Dicastery for Integral Human Development whose mission is, among other things, to promote solidarity with those who are most vulnerable.
The Holy Father’s spiritual closeness
On Wednesday, the Dicastery issued a statement explaining how the gift is an expression of the Holy Father’s “spiritual closeness and paternal encouragement to people suffering from the current epidemic, and to all those caring for them”. The money is meant to assist Italian Caritas in providing essential services in favour of the poor and most vulnerable members of society. Diocesan and parish Caritas centres in Italy run soup kitchens, homeless shelters, dormitories, and more.
Italian Caritas, along with the Sant’Egidio Community, have both launched appeals not to abandon the poor and those who are at risk, especially at this time. Echoing the words of Pope Francis, they are calling for “far reaching” support that includes the psychological and spiritual dimension, aside from material and economic help.