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Annual Vatican message for seafarers

Catholic World News - July 09, 2012

The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People has published its annual message for seafarers.

“Seafarers and their families are not invisible to God and to the Church,” the pontifical council stated.

“We see seafarers working in substandard conditions on board old and rusted vessels, victims of criminalization, abandoned and often with their salary not paid on time or not paid at all … We see seafarers as family members, forced to live far away from loved ones and friends for many months at a time, sharing the limited space of the vessel with other crew members of different nationalities. We see seafarers as individuals who show in simple ways their deep trust in God, seeking guidance and strength by attending Mass and prayer services or praying privately.”

“We want our Christian communities and society at large first of all to recognize seafarers as human beings who contribute to make our life more comfortable and to give thanks for their work and sacrifices,” the message continued. “We also hope to publicize that they need protection from abuse and exploitation.”

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