The international pontifical charity that serves the persecuted and suffering Church around the world said the initiative would assist religious who lost their basic subsistence so that they can continue to carry out their spiritual and social ministries, such as administering the sacraments, teaching the faith, caring for the sick and elderly, helping the poor and visiting prisoners.
ACN’s funding will be a broad-spectrum intervention in the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa, through project support.
“As a rising tide of human suffering related to COVID-19 makes itself felt around the world, the demand for social and spiritual care is soaring,” said Thomas Heine-Geldern, ACN’s executive president.
“It is our wish that this aid, made possible thanks to our benefactors, will help ease the burden on our courageous religious, who stand on the front lines, bringing God’s love and compassion to our suffering brothers and sisters. Now more than ever, the Light and Hope of the Lord is needed.”
While the entire world is coping with the ravages of the pandemic, countless communities in developing countries – already impoverished and with limited resources – are particularly vulnerable in this crisis; often they are dependent on the local Church for social services, including health care.
“We are united in prayer with the brave and dedicated priests and nuns who give their all to serve the world’s most vulnerable communities, and with all who are suffering around the world,” Mr Heine-Geldern said.
“This is a drop in the bucket in terms of what is and will be needed, but the Church plays a particularly vital spiritual and pastoral role in the day-to-day life of the world’s poorest Christian communities, and we must help strengthen the safety net it provides.
“I am so thankful to our donors who, often despite their own pain and hardship, are reaching out to their fellow faithful. It is a beautiful gesture, one that is helping to keep the Faith alive.”
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