Vatican authority announces international conference on pastoral care for roadways


The Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Msgr. Agostino Marchetto, announced plans for a Continental Conference in October, in Bogotá, Colombia, to discuss the pastoral care for roadways; faced with the incessant increase of danger and traffic accidents. 

The prelate spoke with the Italian Newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, explaining that "we must be conscious that there is a war on the roadways of the entire world, where everyday, hundreds of people die for many different reasons.  Immediate intervention is needed to reduce the number of victims, because it is becoming a real destruction.  It will not be easy, but it is a challenge that should be faced with great determination." 

At the meeting, the Vatican prelate explained that at the conference, "one day will be devoted to each of the four sub-sectors for which guidance is needed.  The first day will be dedicated to road users, truckers, automobile drivers, those who travel by train, and all who work in transportation-related services; the second to women on the streets; the third to children on the streets, and the fourth to the homeless."

In Msgr. Marchetto's opinion, "the most important thing to keep in mind is that the Church is committed to raising awareness and helping people who use the road to gain a sense of responsibility.  To decrease traffic accidents, the contribution of the Christian community is necessary.  But in addition to the Church; schools, families and institutions must also work to further this cause and work to create respect for applicable laws."

The archbishop continued by denouncing "the scary statistics we hear on the television and read in the daily newspapers that demonstrate a lack of respect for life.  That is why we have called this summit in October in Bogotá: to look for a way to confront the problem.  It will begin with the Continental Conference and will later focus on the parish and diocesan environments.  Another important topic tied to the street is that of children being forced to beg or rummage through garbage."

Finally, the archbishop commented that following the summit, a document will be released to help increase people's awareness of traffic accidents, provide pastoral guidance for roadway safety, and promote the respect of life.

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