Pope in Bahrain calls for safe and worthy jobs around the world
The pontiff makes this appeal right after he arrived in the Gulf country on an apostolic visit. Like bread, work “is often lacking, and often too, it is a bread that is poisoned, since it enslaves.” Speaking about the nearby forgotten war in Yemen, he calls for weapons to fall silent and action be taken to truly build peace.
Awali (AsiaNews) – After a courtesy visit to King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa at the Sakhir Royal Palace in Awali, first stop on his apostolic journey to Bahrain, Pope Francis this afternoon issued a strong appeal to the world on the topic of the dignity of work.
In his address to the authorities, representatives of civil society groups, and the diplomatic corps, he said: “From this country, which is so attractive for the employment opportunities that it provides, I would like to call attention once more to the global labour crisis. Labour is as precious as bread; like bread, it is often lacking, and often too, it is a bread that is poisoned, since it enslaves.
These words are significant because they are spoken in a region, the Persian Gulf, which has become a destination for millions of migrant workers who are often victims of tragic working conditions.
The pope warned against those situations in which people, “rather than being the sacred and inviolable end and goal of work, are reduced instead to a mere means of producing wealth.”
Instead, “Let us guarantee that working conditions everywhere are safe and dignified, that they foster rather than hinder people’s cultural and spiritual growth; and that they serve to advance social cohesion, to the benefit of common life and the development of each country.”
Acknowledging Bahrain’s significant contributions in this regard, Francis hopes the Gulf country will become “a beacon through the region for the promotion of equal rights and improved conditions for workers, women and young people, while at the same time ensuring respect and concern for all those who feel most at the margins of society, such as immigrants and prisoners. For an authentic, humane, and integral development is measured above all by the concern shown to them.”
Speaking about Bahrain’s national, ethnic and religious pluralism, the pope said that it is proof “that we can and must live together in our world, which in these decades has become a global village. Indeed, although globalization has taken root, in many ways we still lack ‘the spirit of a village’, as shown by hospitality, concern for others and a sense of fraternity.”
On the eve of the UN Climate Change Conference COP27, set to open on Sunday in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt, Francis renewed his concerns about the environmental crisis.
“Let us work tirelessly in confronting this dramatic emergency and enact concrete and farsighted decisions inspired by concern for coming generations, before it is too late and their future is compromised!”
Likewise, he slammed once again “the monstrous and senseless reality of war, which everywhere sows destruction and crushes hope. [. . .] every war, brings in its wake the death of truth. Let us reject the logic of weapons and change course, diverting enormous military expenditures to investments in combating hunger and the lack of healthcare and education.”
Speaking about the Arabian Peninsula, Francis turned “in a particular and heartfelt way to Yemen, torn by a forgotten war that, like every war, issues not in victory but only in bitter defeat for everyone.
“I especially keep in my prayers the civilians, the children, the elderly and the sick. And I beg: Let there be an end to the clash of weapons! Let there be an end to the clash of weapons! Let there be an end to the clash of weapons! Let us be committed, everywhere and concretely, to building peace!”