$300,000 Given to Aid Oil Spill Victims

Bishops Express Support for Fishermen

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ST. PETERSBURG, Florida, JUNE 15, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the anti-poverty program of the U.S. bishops, is giving $300,000 in grants to aid victims of the recent Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The spill in the Gulf of Mexico resulted from an April 20 well blowout on the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil drilling platform that killed 11 and injured 17 others.

The oil company BP has been fingered as being primarily responsible for what has become the largest spill in U.S. history, though the multinational corporation objects to this accusation.

It is estimated that the fishing industry will lose some $2.5 billion due to the disaster.

The U.S. bishops’ conference reported today that the Subcommittee for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development approved the funds to aid low-income people affected by the oil spill.

The subcommittee’s chairman, Bishop Roger Morin of Biloxi, Mississippi, affirmed that this “tragic oil spill has grave human, environmental and economic costs.”

“As a Church, we mourn the loss of life,” he continued. “We pray for those whose livelihoods are in jeopardy.”

The prelate explained: “Through these grants, the Church also offers concrete support to the work that must be done to help these communities help themselves. It’s a powerful sign of the essential mission of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.”

The grant funding will be used to provide a voice to the fishermen and communities in the resolution of the problems.

Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans noted that the people of his archdiocese “are grateful for the generosity of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.”

“By providing our fishing communities with funds to support their efforts to recover, the [campaign] has enabled the Catholic Church to continue to be a sign of Christ’s compassion and hope to the fishing communities,” he affirmed.

The prelate stated, “This gift is indeed generous and will be used to provide hope and stability for these hard-working families affected by the disastrous oil spill.”

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