Vatican City (AsiaNews) - " Human trafficking is an open wound on
the body of contemporary society, a scourge upon the body of Christ. It is a
crime against humanity".
statement made today by Pope Francis summarizes the aims and motivations of the
Second international conference on Combating Human Trafficking: Church and Law
Enforcement in Partnership (April 9-10, 2014), organized by the Catholic
Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.
The Pope received participants in the meeting, describing it as "important". But, he added , "it is also a gesture: a gesture of the Church, a of people of good will who want to scream 'Enough! The very fact of our being here to combine our efforts means that we want our strategies and areas of expertise to be accompanied and reinforced by the mercy of the Gospel, by closeness to the men and women who are victims of this crime".
"Our meeting today includes law enforcement authorities, who are primarily responsible for combating this tragic reality by a vigorous application of the law. It also includes humanitarian and social workers, whose task it is to provide victims with welcome, human warmth and the possibility of building a new life. These are two different approaches, but they can and must go together. To dialogue and exchange views on the basis of these two complementary approaches is quite important. Conferences such as this are extremely helpful, and, I would say, much needed".
"I believe - he concluded - that one important sign of this is the fact that, one year after your first meeting, you have regrouped from throughout the world in order to advance your common efforts. I thank you for your readiness to work together. I pray that our Lord will assist you and that Our Lady will watch over you".