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HomeArchbishop Benedict Mar GregoriosIndian Archbishop Benedict Mar Gregorios Proposes Novel Solution to US Unemployment Crisis

Indian Archbishop Benedict Mar Gregorios Proposes Novel Solution to US Unemployment Crisis

Date:

Pittsburgh, September 19, 1982 – Archbishop Metropolitan Benedict Mar Gregorios of Kerala, India, during his visit to Western Pennsylvania, shared his unique perspective on tackling the growing unemployment issue in the United States. The head of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in India, Archbishop Gregorios, proposed an approach focused on empowering developing nations and decentralizing employment solutions.

Speaking in an interview beside the office of Bishop Vincent M. Leonard of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese, Archbishop Gregorios emphasized that the solution to unemployment does not solely rest with legislative or executive actions but through a global approach to labor and economy. “Exporting more to developing countries and empowering their populations with purchasing power and employment opportunities is the key,” he said. This strategy, according to him, addresses the root causes of unemployment and prevents the social ills arising from mass migration to urban centers.

Archbishop Gregorios, dressed in a traditional orange robe and a hand-carved ivory crucifix, shared insights from his extensive experience in leading the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, which traces its origins back to the Apostle St. Thomas. The church, under his leadership, has been actively involved in education and social development programs in Kerala, with a strong focus on agricultural development and industrial self-sufficiency.

He highlighted the church’s initiatives in establishing farms in each parish to teach modern agricultural techniques, which have proven more effective than traditional methods. This approach aims to alleviate the poverty that farmers face for a significant part of the year. Additionally, the church is involved in processing industries like garment-making and utilizing local raw materials, such as rubber and fiber, to produce mattresses and cushions, with all industries being employee-owned.

Archbishop Gregorios’s vision extends beyond mere welfare; it’s about sustainable development. The church has established schools offering education from kindergarten to doctoral studies, with the state supporting teachers’ wages. He advocates for international cooperation and free trade to support start-up initiatives, emphasizing that the industries they aim to develop should be simple enough to maximize employment rather than replacing manpower with technology.

His visit to the United States, including meeting with friends and clergy like the Rev. John Matthew Elijanteth of St. Mary’s Romanian Church in McKeesport, is part of a broader effort to share these insights and foster international understanding and cooperation.

Archbishop Gregorios’s message resonates beyond the religious community, offering a perspective that poverty and unemployment are global issues that require innovative, cooperative solutions. His approach underlines the interconnectedness of global economies and the potential for mutual growth and stability.

Copyright: The Pittsburgh PressĀ 18 Sep 1982

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