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Vatican cardinal: seafarers must be allowed shore leave

July 07, 2022

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CWN Editor's Note: The prefect of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development has called attention to the plight of seafarers who have been unable to leave their ships because of restrictions imposed during the Covid lockdown.

In a message for Sea Sunday, which will be observed July 10, Cardinal Michael Czerny said that “the pandemic must no longer be used as an excuse for banning the crew from going ashore.” He also expressed concern for the crew members who, because of long periods at anchorage, are unable to return home to their families.

The cardinal complained that some shipping companies have enjoyed “exorbitant revenue” because of a surge in demand for good, but have not shared the profits with the crew members who make the system work.

Cardinal Czerny also decried the difficulties caused by the war in Ukraine, saying: “Many vessels have been sunk and human lives have been lost during this unjust and immoral war.”

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