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Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2494

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Pope Francis imparts blessing on Day for Life push to help victims of human trafficking

Pope Francis has appealed to the Catholics in England and Wales to become more alert to the cries of human trafficking victims

As the Catholic Church in England and Wales prepares for Day for Life on Sunday June 17, Pope Francis has sent a special message to Catholics asking them to help break the chains of captivity of those who have been trafficked and to “bring comfort to those who have survived such inhumanity”.

The Day for Life is the day in the Church’s year dedicated to raising awareness about the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in every condition. This year’s Day for Life aims to raise awareness of the crime of human trafficking.

Invoking the intercession of St Josephine Bakhita, the patron saint of victims of human trafficking and modern slavery, Pope Francis has sent his Apostolic Blessing to those marking the Day for Life.

The Holy Father prays “that God might free all those who have been threatened, wounded or mistreated by the trade and trafficking of human beings and bring comfort to those who have survived such inhumanity”.

A message sent to Auxiliary Bishop John Sherrington of Westminster, by the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Edward Adams, said that the Holy Father appealed to all so that “we may open our eyes and be able to see the misery of those so deprived of their dignity and their freedom, and hear their cry for help”.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has responded to the rise in human trafficking by developing the Santa Marta Group – a global alliance of international police chiefs, bishops and religious communities working in partnership.

It is named after the house where Pope Francis lives and where the founder members stayed in 2014 before to signing, in the presence of the Holy Father, a declaration of commitment. The group now has members in over 30 countries.

In the UK, it is estimated that every year there are more than 13,000 victims of trafficking.

 

(Words and picture courtesy of the Catholic Communications Network)