2013-05-24 16:06:22

Pope calls on human traffickers and clients to examine their conscience

24 May, 2013 - Pope Denouncing trafficking in human beings as ignoble and shameful, Pope Francis on Friday renewed the Catholic Church’s appeal to safeguard the dignity and centrality of every person. The Pope’s appeal came in his talk to the participants in the 20th Plenary Assembly of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. The May 22-24 meeting discussed the theme, “The Pastoral Solicitude of the Church in the Context of Forced Migration.” “You have rightly taken to heart the situation in which the family of nations is called to intervene in a spirit of brotherly solidarity, with programmes of protection, often in the backdrop of dramatic events that hit the life of many persons almost daily,” the Pope told the participants. “Here I reaffirm that ‘trafficking in human persons’ is an ignoble activity, a disgrace for our societies that call themselves civilized,” the Pope said, calling exploiters and clients of all levels to make a serious examination of conscience before themselves and before God. He said, “The Church renews its strong appeal that the dignity and centrality of every person be safeguarded always, in the respect of fundamental rights, as emphasized by the Social Teaching of the Church – rights that call that they be truly extended where they are denied to millions of men and women in every continent.” “In a world where rights are spoken about so much, how many times human dignity is trampled upon!” the Pope wondered. The Holy Father appeal to governments, legislators and the international community to deal with the phenomenon of persons forcibly uprooted with effective initiatives, new approaches to safeguard their dignity, to improve their quality of life and to help face the challenges that emerge from modern forms of persecution, oppression and slavery. Talking about the dire situation of immigrants, the Pontiff stressed that it’s a question of human persons that appeals for solidarity and help, who not only need urgent action but also and above all understanding and goodness. Their condition, the Pope pointed out, cannot leave one indifferent, and we as the Church recall that by healing the wounds of the refugees, the displaced and the victims of trafficking we put into practice the commandment of love that Jesus has left us, when he identified Himself with the foreigner, the suffering and all the innocent victims of violence and exploitation.

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