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Rome Reports

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Pope praises fishermen for clearing plastic litter out of sea

Pope Francis received a group of fishermen from southern Italy. They combat pollution by clearing out plastic from the sea. They are also pushing for a law requiring all Italian fishermen to contribute to the cause.

This initiative is very important, because of the huge amount of litter, especially plastic, you've recovered. I would say, above all, [it is important] because it can become and is already becoming a reproducible model in other regions of Italy and abroad.

The pope said it is important for people at the local level to contribute in order to help the initiative expand.

Operation 'Fishing for plastic,' which you have undertaken voluntarily, is an example of how local civil society can and should contribute to tackling global issues, excluding nothing, but stimulating the responsibility of institutions.

Pope Francis then spoke about the important role of fishermen throughout the Gospel. He said even his predecessor Peter was a fisherman, and that the first disciples of Jesus were their colleagues.

The pope then asked the fishermen to never forget the values fostered by their faith: communal religiosity, respect for the family and a sense of solidarity.

The meeting concluded with a blessing and a group photo.

Claudia Torres