FFE Magazine

Laid-off Pinoys send SOS to the Pope

by FFE EU News staff

When Pope Francis accepted a plea from Philippine Airlines (PAL) employees caught in a labour dispute, the pontiff once again broke Vatican protocols.

Since being elected in March, the pope has bypassed secretaries and personally responded to calls and letters made by strangers pleading for his intervention. However, the pope remains neutral on local politics and labour issues.

The letter from PAL employees sought ‘the intercession of Your Holiness to achieve a just conclusion to the labour dispute. As the only majority Christian nation in Asia, we deem an appeal from Your Holiness to the stakeholders involved in the dispute.’ An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines personally delivered the letter to the pope in Vatican.


Pope Francis accepts PALEA letter from a CBCP official. Photo source: CBCP News

In a statement made on Labor Day, the pope said that as a carpenter’s son, Jesus ‘reminds us of the dignity and importance of work.

‘Work … fills us with dignity, makes us similar to God, who has worked and still works, who always acts; it gives one the ability to maintain oneself, one’s family, to contribute to the growth of one’s own nation.’

The pope urged public officials from all around the world ‘to make every effort to give new impetus to employment.’ He also denounced the global economy ‘that has at its center an idol called money.’

‘I am thinking of how many, and not only young people, are unemployed, often due to a purely economic conception of society, which seeks profit selfishly, beyond the parameters of social justice.’

However, he also told the unemployed to ‘not lose hope.’

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