It is not surprising that a priest gives sermons; it is even its core business, economists would say. On the other hand, that he starts sending inflammatory letters, that is much more unusual. However, this is what Bishop Corrado Pizziolo did on September 4, sending to his flock of the small diocese of Vittorio Veneto, in Veneto (province of Treviso), a pastoral message seemingly innocuous but one of which provoked a certain emotion in the region.
The missive is no less than four rather classic pages, in line with papal thought, and it does not contain, from a dogmatic point of view, any piece of bravery likely to be remembered. But even in a pastoral letter, the devil hides in the details. However, a paragraph of this text immediately attracted attention beyond the small circle of the faithful.
In the passage devoted to the environment, Monsignor Corrado Pizziolo writes: “We feel a reminder of respect for the environment and human health, threatened by the abuse of the aforementioned“ pesticides ”, rising from the territory. Likewise, I feel the urgency to focus attention on the theme of preserving biodiversity, in an area where monoculture (which risks becoming a “unique culture”) has its limits… ”
Pesticides and exploited labor
At this stage, no one is unaware of who is the target of the prelate’s attack. This is of course the producers of prosecco, whose activity has grown exponentially over the past ten years (production has more than quadrupled since 2009), provoking the opposition of a growing number of inhabitants of the region, as well as the denunciations of environmental defenders.
“As demand continues to grow, there are only two solutions: increase prices or increase production. However, the potential for price increases for prosecco is quite low… ”Denis Pantini, economist
But to be more explicit still, the bishop continues his warning, in the name “Care for the health of people, respect for creation and the primacy of ethics over the economy”, and recalling that ” this earth, which recently received recognition from Unesco as World Heritage, deserves all our dedication ”. Then he evokes the persistence, in the region, of “Corporalato” (a system of exploitation of agricultural workers), and recourse to undeclared work, taking advantage of a labor force of undocumented migrants who can thank you.
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