Pope Francis has established an emergency fund in response to the COVID-19 crisis to support ongoing missionary work around the world. Source: Catholic Mission.
Through his international mission agency, of which Catholic Mission is the Australian arm, the funds will be directed to communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis.
The emergency fund will be used to accompany impacted communities in mission countries via Church structures and institutions.
Cardinal Luis Tagle, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, said the fund was part of a push for solidarity in the Church.
“The Holy Father is calling upon the Church’s entire vast network to face the challenges ahead,” Cardinal Tagle said.
The establishment of the emergency fund on Monday, which was boosted by a $US750,000 ($1.2m) contribution from Pope Francis, coincides with a campaign launched by Catholic Mission titled, “We Are Still Here”.
It focuses on the continued presence of missionaries in communities around the world where the impact of COVID-19 is exacerbated by poverty and inequality. The campaign has raised more than $50,000 and will run until June 30.
“The support of our global missionary network and the critical projects they operate, including pastoral care, water, health and sanitation initiatives is as critical now as ever,” said Fr Brian Lucas, national director of Catholic Mission.
“This is an unprecedented crisis that requires compassionate and whole-hearted support of one another.”
Archbishop Giampietro Dal Toso, President of the Pontifical Mission Societies which will administer the fund, says the missionary aspect of humanitarian support, which combines pastoral and practical outreach, is essential in this uncertain climate.
“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,” he said.
Pope launches global fund for COVID 19 mission response(Catholic Mission)
COVID-19: Pope establishes emergency fund (Vatican News)