A Derry charity worker has made a direct appeal to Pope Francis I to help him finance the feeding and education of children in India.
Well known civil rights campaigner and children’s advocate, Eamon Melaugh, said he has also written to every priest in the Derry Diocese to ask for their assistance, as he wishes to speak directly to their parishoners.
Mr. Melaugh who established and runs Derry charity Action With Effect, (AWE) has asked the Pontiff to charge Vatican City visitors a one euro levy, which would then be donated to children’s programmes in the Third World. “It would help feed, clothe and educate millions,” said Mr. Melaugh.
“Every church in every country should have an annual Third World anti-starvation collection. I am asking the Pope for participation in our efforts to save children from suffering death from hunger.”
Mr. Melaugh added he has been angered by the fact that he has been denied the opportunity to speak to parishoners from the altar. “I would condemn their lack of action. All I want is ten minutes altar time to explain what we (AWE) do and how we do it. The Church belongs to the people and I should be allowed to address them. This is the perfect way for the Church to reclaim some of its lost credibility.”
AWE will now distribute leaflets outside Churches instead of speaking to parishoners from inside.
Spokesperson for the Diocese, Father Michael Canny said: “Our policy is that it is the decision of the individual parish committee as to who can make an address from the altar.”