Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews and Edinburgh has called for prayers for all those affected by the threatened closure of the Grangemouth oil refinery and petrochemical plant.
He urged everyone “in a position to influence” things to work towards “fair outcomes” for those involved. His comments came just as the Swiss-based company Ineos said the plant would stay open, possibly with some redundancies, after a new deal was struck with workers.
Archbishop Cushley said: “I would ask the people and clergy of the archdiocese to pray and support those affected by this crisis, and those in a position to influence positively a path that will lead to fair outcomes and long-term employment for the families and communities that are already struggling in the current economic climate.”
In a statement sent to parishes, the archbishop pointed to comments by Pope Francis on the importance of work and the responsibility of those in public office to encourage employment opportunities.
Speaking on May 1, the feast of St Joseph the Worker, the Pope said: “Work is fundamental to the dignity of a person. Work, to use a metaphor, ‘anoints’ us with dignity, it gives one the ability to maintain oneself, one’s family, to contribute to the growth of one’s own nation.”
Pope Francis added: “I am thinking of how many, and not only young people, are unemployed, often due to a purely economic conception of society, which seeks profit selfishly, beyond the parameters of social justice. I wish to extend an invitation to solidarity to everyone, and I would like to encourage those in public office to make every effort to give new impetus to employment, this means caring for the dignity of the person, but above all I would say do not lose hope.”