A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Francis Speaks

From the Pope’s address to the International Conference on Human Trafficking, 11 April 2019 Source: Vatican News VA:

The evil of human trafficking

Trafficking represents an unjustifiable violation of the freedom and dignity of its victims, of those constitutive dimensions of the human being as willed and created by God. For this reason, it is to be considered a crime against humanity. Of this, there can be no doubt. The same gravity, by analogy, must be attributed to all forms of contempt for the freedom and dignity of every human being, whether a compatriot or a foreigner.

Trafficking debases all of us

Those guilty of this crime cause harm not only to others but also to themselves. For each of us is created to love and care for others, and this culminates in the gift of self: “No one has greater love than this: to give one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). In our relationships with others, we play out our humanity, approaching or moving away from the model of human being desired by God the Father and revealed in his incarnate Son. Therefore, every choice contrary to the realisation of God’s project for us is a betrayal of our humanity and renounces that “life in abundance” offered by Jesus Christ. It is to take the down staircase, to debase ourselves, to become animals.

Struggle and commitment

All actions that aim to restore and promote our humanity and that of others are in line with the Church’s mission, as a continuation of the saving mission of Christ. This missionary value is evident in the struggle against all forms of trafficking and in every commitment to the redemption of the survivors, a struggle and a commitment that also has beneficial effects on our own humanity, opening the way to the fullness of life, the ultimate purpose of our existence.

The numerous initiatives which put you, brothers and sisters, at the forefront of efforts to prevent trafficking, protect survivors and prosecute offenders, are worthy of admiration. I feel I should express special thanks to the many religious congregations that have worked and continue to work, also through networking, as the ‘front line’ of the Church’s missionary action against all forms of trafficking.

Coordination of efforts against this evil

Faced with human trafficking, a phenomenon as complex as it is dark, it is essential to ensure the coordination of various pastoral initiatives, both locally and internationally. The offices established by local Churches, religious congregations and Catholic organisations, are called to share their experience and knowledge, join forces and coordinate their activity regarding the countries of origin, transit and destination of those who are trafficked.

Persevering in a dangerous mission

I encourage you to persevere in this mission, which is often risky and anonymous. Risky indeed for lay persons, but also for religious. It is risky, but we have to persevere. It is anonymous, but precisely because of this, an irrefutable proof of your selfless generosity.
Through the intercession of Saint Josephine Bakhita, who was enslaved as a child, sold and bought, but was eventually liberated and then flourished in fullness as a daughter of God, I pray for you. Upon all of you and on those who are committed to the struggle against human trafficking, I invoke abundant blessings. I will keep thinking of you and I pray for you. And you, please, do not forget to pray for me. Thank you!

Hope - the air we breathe

It is not easy to live in hope, but I would say that it should be the air that Christians breathe, the air of hope. ... Hope – yes, it’s true – hope gives us security: hope does not disappoint. Never. If you hope, you will not be disappointed. We must open ourselves up to that promise of the Lord, leaning towards that promise, but knowing that there is the Spirit that works in us. May the Lord give us, all of us, this grace of living in hope … through the Holy Spirit who keeps us in hope.
Santa Marta homily, 29 October 2019
Source: Zenit

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