Sicilian bishops speak out on tragedy in Casteldaccia: “These deaths are a social defeat”

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Monitor workplace safety by paying attention to the full respect of the worker. These are the central points of condolences messages from the bishops of Palermo, Cefalù and Trapani, who wanted to express their extreme sadness for the five workers who died, and one who was seriously injured in the tragedy of Casteldaccia. “In these particularly dramatic hours,” writes the Archbishop of Palermo Mons. Corrado Lorefice, “I feel a strong appeal for safety in the workplace, hoping for a greater commitment from those responsible: legislators, companies, organizations and trade associations, to protect workers. These deaths, as well as accidents, are a social defeat, a profound wound of the social body, it concerns everyone, not just the companies or families involved.” “We must – continues the archbishop feel these deaths, make this pain our own, sympathize with it, feel it in our guts, carry it together with those who are now crushed by it. We must change. All of us. We cannot get used to workplace accidents, nor resign ourselves to indifference towards injuries.” Lorefice then expressed his gratitude to all those who worked in the rescue operations, ensuring his prayers as a sign of emotional and spiritual closeness. A drama that also involved the diocesan territory of Trapani, where the bishop, Mons. Pietro Maria Fragnelli, wanted to rekindle the “match” of faith on these painful events. “The “crucifixes” of work – writes Fragnelli in his message – are the visible sign of that Cross of Christ that continues to be raised on the calvaries of life.”

“To you,” he continues, “workers who lost their lives and followed the fatal instinct to help each other, the embrace of a community that today is dismayed and shattered pledges to carry on the fruit of your sweat and your love, while invoking mercy, justice and hope for all. Let us not stop working all together.” Mons. Giuseppe Marciante, bishop of Cefalù and delegate of the Regional Office for Social Pastoral Care, Justice, Peace and the Safeguarding of Creation of the Sicilian Episcopal Conference, also intervened on what happened. “The words of the rescuers surprise and, at the same time, chill: next to the bodies, we did not find any protective masks. If the ancient adage that work dignifies man is true, it is essential that all safety measures are respected for this to happen. While Justice will take its course to ascertain the blame, the Church of Sicily stands with the families of the fallen in this latest tragedy. It is more necessary than ever – he concludes – to monitor safety and prevention at work without wasting too many words to ensure the safety of all workers.”

A cry, that of the Sicilian bishops, which aims to be a clear and heartfelt appeal to the institutions, so that the issue of workplace safety is addressed and explored with greater attention, an issue “of which – as Pope Francis says – one realizes its importance only when it tragically lacks, and it is always too late.”

Il dramma di Casteldaccia, parlano i vescovi siciliani: «Queste morti sono una sconfitta sociale»

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