"Experience shows that such modern forms of slavery are far more widespread than previously imagined, even – to our scandal and shame –within the most prosperous of our societies," he told the "Santa Marta Group".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis has told the "Santa Marta Group", that today the real challenge is to “o examine seriously the various forms of complicity by which society tolerates, and encourages, particularly with regard to the sex trade, the exploitation of vulnerable men, women and children . He was addressing the international body against trafficking in human beings which he himself launched in 2014 s, chaired by card. Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and president of the Episcopal Conference of England and Wales.
Card. Charles Bo, S.D.B., archbishop of Yangon (Myanmar), Card. John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, archbishop of Abuja (Nigeria), Cressida Dick, Commissioner, London Metropolitan Police Service, Nestor Roncaglia, General Commissioner Policía Federal Argentina and Jean Baderschneider, of the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery were also present to hear the Pope’s words.
"It is my hope - the Pope told them - that these days of reflection and shared experiences have brought into clearer light the interplay between the global and local aspects of human trafficking. Experience shows that such modern forms of slavery are far more widespread than previously imagined, even – to our scandal and shame –within the most prosperous of our societies.".
"God’s cry to Cain, found in the first pages of the Bible – “Where is your brother?” – challenges us to examine seriously the various forms of complicity by which society tolerates, and encourages, particularly with regard to the sex trade, the exploitation of vulnerable men, women and children (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 211). Initiatives to combat human trafficking, while concretely aimed at dismantling criminal structures, must increasingly consider broader issues associated, for example, with the responsible use of technology and the communications media, to say nothing of exploring the ethical implications of models of economic growth that privilege profit over persons. ".
"I trust that your discussions in these days will also help to raise awareness of the growing need to support victims of these crimes by accompanying them on a path of reintegration into society and the recovery of their human dignity. The Church is grateful for every effort made to bring the balm of God’s mercy to the suffering, for this also represents an essential step in the healing and renewal of society as a whole".
Francis today received the participants at the Conference, promoted in the Vatican, the so-called "Santa Marta Group" against trafficking in human beings. The group is led by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and Bernard Hogan-Howe, head of London's Metropolitan Police.
Pope Francis has Hail Mary recited at the Angelus “to support the victims of trafficking and convert the hearts of traffickers.” The world seems to be getting used to this "aberrant plague", which is “ugly, cruel, criminal!" The pontiff mentioned the parables of the treasure and precious pearl. The quest "is the essential condition for finding". The discovery of the treasure and the pearl entails "sacrifice, detachment and renunciation”. The joy of the farmer and merchant in the parable "is the joy of each of us when we discover the closeness and consoling presence of Jesus in our lives."
The Holy Spirit is "a gift, the great gift of Jesus,” who does not lead us astray. “It is precisely within our hearts that we carry the Holy Spirit. The Church calls the Spirit ‘the sweet guest of the heart’: He is there. But He cannot enter a closed heart. ‘Ah, but where can one buy the keys to open the heart?’ No! That too is a gift.”
To know how much God loves us, we only have to contemplate the Crucifix: a tortured man, a God," emptied of divinity"," dirtied" by sin. But a God whose self-abasement forever destroys the real name of evil, that which Revelation calls "the ancient serpent".