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Catholics should donate to DEC Appeal for Pakistan, not to Rome

August 14, 2010

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The Independent is reporting that the Vatican has yet to raise the £8m needed for Benedict to visit us next month:

So far the Catholic Church in England, Wales and Scotland has raised just £5.1m with the vast majority – £4m – coming from wealthy private and corporate donors. Just £1.1m has been given through individual collections at Mass – the equivalent of £1.27 for each regular mass-going Catholic.

Here’s a radical thought – Rome could show some Christian compassion and cancel the visit and donate the £5.1m already raised to the DEC Appeal for Pakistan.

From DEC:

An estimated six million children are at risk of malnutrition, diarrhoea and pneumonia as unprecedented super-floods inundate Pakistan.

As flood waters rush south through Sindh and southern Punjab, DEC agencies are warning that as the polluted waters hits densely populated urban areas in the south, where poverty levels are even higher than in the north, the health risks to children are huge.

Mohammed Qazilbash, Save the Children’s spokesperson in Islamabad said: “Outbreaks of cholera and malaria are a big concern. In southern Punjab and Sindh there are vast numbers of people living right along the water, some in makeshift houses with very poor hygiene and sanitation at the best of times.

“Children are drinking, washing in and going to the toilet in the same river water. If this sanitation crisis is not tackled now, in six months time, millions and millions of children will be suffering potentially deadly diarrhoea and other diseases.

Southern Pakistan is much hotter and flatter than the mountainous regions in the centre and north of the country. Here, water will not run off quickly but stand for long periods of time before evaporating. In temperatures currently hovering over 30 degrees Celsius, these flood plains will fast become huge breeding grounds for mosquitoes and malaria.

Doctors working in flood-affected northern areas of Punjab and Swat Valley are already reporting an alarming increase in the number of patients suffering from water-borne diseases including diarrhoea, food poisoning, vomiting and fever. There are also reports of measles outbreaks among children in temporary camps for the millions displaced by the disaster.

Never let your zeal outrun your charity. The former is but human, the latter is divine.
Hosea Ballou

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 16, 2010 00:01

    I hope the Vatican goes bankrupt.

  2. Alex permalink
    August 16, 2010 05:24

    Better yet:

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