Pope pays tributes to stranded seafarers

Pope Francis paid tribute yesterday to the hundreds of thousands of seafarers stuck on ships due to the coronavirus pandemic, a situation the United Nations has described as a humanitarian crisis.

In a special video message dedicated to crew across the world, Francis said: “In these past months, your lives and your work have seen significant changes; you have had to make, and are continuing to make, many sacrifices.”

Pope Francis offered his prayers and solidarity to those who work at sea.

“Long periods spent aboard ships without being able to disembark, separation from families, friends and native countries, fear of infection…All these things are a heavy burden to bear, now more than ever,” the pope said going on to praise the work carried out by chaplains and the volunteers of the catholic charity Stella Maris.

Writing for Splash last month, Esteban Pacha, chair of the trustees of Stella Maris, noted: “The Covid-19 pandemic is easily the biggest challenge our port chaplains have faced in recent times.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Vatican “Shipmanagement”, ITF and IMO agree on the basics: keep castrating sailors with flags of convenince!!

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