SLAVES NO MORE, BUT BROTHERS AND SISTERS:
Do you recognize your brothers and sisters around the world as made in the image and likeness of God, and therefore having “equal dignity”? For the 2015 World Day of Peace, Pope Francis challenges all of us to recognize every other person as a brother or sister with God-given dignity. Such recognition, he says, will lead to peace.
When we recognize the dignity of others, we will feel compelled to work for an end to all that exploits and enslaves them, such as human trafficking, trade in migrants and prostitutes, exploitation, slave labor, and the enslavement of women and children. These things, Pope Francis says, are a fatal running sore on the flesh of Christ.
To address these assaults on the dignity of our exploited and enslaved brothers and sisters, we must assist victims and address the problems and issues that create conditions ripe for exploitation. Catholics in the United States can join the U.S. Catholic bishops and Catholic Relief Services as they work to help victims of exploitation and slavery and address root causes, such as poverty and lack of opportunity, conflict, corruption, demand in developed nations for services of the sex trade and forced labor, poor regulation of industries most susceptible to trafficking (such as the agricultural, domestic, hospitality, and service industries), and lack of anti-human trafficking laws and enforcement of such laws where they do exist.
You can join us in answering Pope Francis’ call to build a civilization based on the equal dignity of every person.
Click here to read Pope Francis’ message for the World Day of Peace. Click here to find out how you can help.