Vatican City, 10 April 2014 (VIS) – “An open wound on the body of contemporary society, a scourge upon the body of Christ. It is a crime against humanity”: the Holy Father thus described human trafficking in his English-language address to the participants in the “Second International Conference on Combating Human Trafficking: Church and Law Enforcement in Partnership”, which took place from 9 to 10 April in the Vatican, organised by the Episcopal Conference of England and Wales. “This is an important meeting, a gesture on the part of the Church and people of good will who want to cry out, 'Enough!'”, he added.
“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”, said the Pope. “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 important. Conferences such as this are extremely helpful, and, I would say, much needed”.
Before concluding, the Holy Father thanked the participants for their collaboration and commented on the importance of the fact that, “one year after your first meeting, you have regrouped from throughout the world in order to advance your common efforts”.