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Pope: Millions Are Being Put to a Harsh Test; The Most Fragile Are Paying the Price
Pope writing a letter
April 27, 2020. Sends Brief Message to Italian Publication that Focuses on Poor, Homeless & Marginalized.

Millions, amid this pandemic worldwide, are being put to a harsh test, and The fragile risk paying the greatest price…

Pope Francis has told ‘Street Papers’ in a message he sent the publication yesterday and that was published by the Holy See Press Office today, April 27, 2020.

“The life of millions of people in our world, already struggling with so many difficult challenges to address and oppressed by the pandemic,” Francis lamented, “is changed and is put to a harsh test.”

“The most fragile people, the invisible, the homeless,” the Argentinian Pontiff lamented, “risk paying the highest price.”

The Holy Father went on to praise all the charitable acts that continue to take place, made possible through charities and organizations, such as Caritas, with their initiatives to help the most vulnerable.

“To look at the poorest in these days,” he said, “can help us all to become aware of what is really happening and of our true condition.”

“To all of you,” Francis thanked, “goes my message of encouragement and fraternal friendship.”

Pope Francis concluded thanking them for all the work they do, the information they give and for “the stories of hope that you recount.”

Here is a ZENIT-provided translation of his greeting to journalists, to volunteers and to sellers of street newspapers, who are experiencing great difficulties in this health emergency moment:

* * *

The Holy Father’s Greeting

The life of millions of people in our world, already struggling with so many difficult challenges to address and oppressed by the pandemic, is changed and is put to a harsh test. The most fragile people, the invisible, the homeless risk paying the highest price.

I wish, then, to greet the world of street newspapers, and especially their sellers who, in the main, are homeless, people gravely marginalized, unemployed: thousands of people worldwide live and have a job thanks to the sale of these extraordinary newspapers.

In Italy I think of the beautiful experience of Scarp de’ tenis, of Caritas’ project, which enables more than 130 people in difficulty to have an income and with it access to fundamental citizenship rights — but not only. I think of the experience of the more than 100 street newspapers worldwide, which are published in 35 different countries and in 25 different languages and which guarantee work and income to more than 20,500 homeless people. For many weeks the street newspapers have not been sold and their sellers cannot work. I wish to express, then, my closeness to the journalists, to the volunteers, to the people that live thanks to these projects and that in these times are spending themselves with many innovative ideas. The pandemic has made your work difficult but I am sure that the great network of street newspapers of the world will come back stronger than before. To look at the poorest in these days, can help us all to become aware  of what is really happening and of our true condition. To all of you goes my message of encouragement and fraternal friendship. Thank you for the work you do, for the information you give and for the stories of hope that you recount.

FRANCIS

[Original text: Italian]