Human Trafficking is a crime


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Francis: Human Trafficking is a crime against humanity

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has condemned human trafficking, calling it a crime against humanity, a scourge and an open wound in contemporary society. His strong words came in an address to participants at a Conference on Combating Human Trafficking that took place in the Vatican from April 9-10th. Just before his address to the participants, the Pope held a private meeting with four victims of human trafficking, now rescued, who came from Chile, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Argentina.

The conference was organized by the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales and was attended by police chiefs from around 20 countries, trafficking victims who’ve been rescued and religious and lay organizations who are involved in the battle against trafficking and reaching out to its victims.

In his address to the participants, the Pope noted that the meeting also draws on the expertise of law enforcement authorities, who he said: “are primarily responsible for combating this tragic reality by a vigorous application of the law.”

But, continued Pope Francis, “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.”

One of the main organizers of the conference was Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, the president of the Bishops Conference in England and Wales. He spoke to Susy Hodges about the outcome of their discussions.

Listen to the full interview with Cardinal Vincent Nichols:

Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/04/10/pope_francis:_human_trafficking,_an_open_wound_on_society/en1-789497
of the Vatican Radio website

Jesuit killed in Syria


IMG_0604-1Pope honors Jesuit killed in Syria, pleads for end to violence

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis said the assassination of “my confrere,” a 75-year-old Dutch Jesuit in Syria, “filled me with deep sadness and made me think again of all the people who suffer and are dying in that martyred country.”

Jesuit Father Frans van der Lugt “arrived in Syria about 50 years ago” and “always did his best for everyone with graciousness and love, and so was loved and held in esteem by Christians and Muslims,” the pope said April 9 at the end of his weekly general audience.