The circus industry has been badly hit by the pandemic. On World Circus Day, Saturday, the Vatican sent a message to the World Circus Federation, expressing its closeness.
While expressing its solidarity and closeness with circus artistes and the industry that has taken a toll due to the pandemic, the Vatican wishes that they soon return to performing in order to bring back an “explosion of pure joy” and “cherished balm of laughter” to adults and children.
Bringing back joy and laughter
“I ask circus performers of all latitudes who are suffering so much during this pandemic to bring their art, as soon as possible, to the places where children and the elderly suffer,” said Cardinal Peter Turkson, the prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. “Grandparents and grandchildren are the most frequent spectators” under the tent, “and are unfortunately the ones who have paid a very high price”. “They are as thirsty as circus workers for an explosion of pure joy, such as the one offered by the circus. Those who are so nobly taking care of sick children also need the cherished balm of laughter,” the cardinal wrote in a message for the 11th World Circus Day, April 17.
In the message addressed to Urs Pilz, President of the World Circus Federation, the cardinal recalled the performance of Italy’s Rony Roller Circus at the Vatican’s Bambino Gesù children’s hospital in Rome in January 2020. He said it was “a joyful gift for the sick children, a precious sentiment treasured in the hearts of circus artists, a celebration of life over pain and suffering, especially that which affects the little ones”. “It also entails alleviating hospital staff, offering them a time for joy much needed to nourish the extraordinary mission that they carry out every day in the service of others”.
The Ghanaian cardinal expressed the Vatican’s heartfelt closeness to circus artists and workers, whom Pope Francis has described as “artisans of beauty”. “The protracted emergency situation and bans on gatherings,” he noted, “have threatened the very existence of the circus industry and its businesses, which often are family-managed, forcing them to go into debt in the hope of seeing better times.” He urged for financial support by the European Union and each country, who, he said, are “called to protect the most needy as well as the most vulnerable economic sectors”. He pointed out that during this time, “small and great spontaneous or organized actions” have been carried out by parishes and dioceses through Caritas and Catholic charitable organizations, who also have responded to circus people’s requests for survival…
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