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Pope focuses on slavery for World Day of Peace

By Sarah Mac Donald - 22 August, 2014

pope-francis1Pope Francis has announced that the theme for the 48th World Day of Peace in January will be “Slaves no more, but brothers and sisters”.

Itwhich tackles the issues of human and sex trafficking as well as various kinds of exploitation.

In his message for the second World Day of Peace of his pontificate, Pope Francis warns that many people think that slavery is a thing of the past.

“In fact, this social plague remains all too real in today’s world,” he warns.

In his statement, issued by the Vatican on Thursday, Pope Francis warns that slavery deals “a murderous blow to this fundamental fraternity, and so to peace as well.”

Peace, he states, can only exist when each human being recognises every other person as a brother or sister with the same dignity.

In a strongly worded statement, the Pontiff states, “Too many abominable forms of slavery persist in today’s world: human trafficking, trade in migrants and prostitutes, exploitation, slave labour, and the enslavement of women and children.”

He adds, “Shamefully, individuals and groups around the world profit from this slavery. They take advantage of the world’s many conflicts, of the economic crisis and of corruption in order to carry out their evil.”

“Slavery is a terrible open wound on the contemporary social body, a fatal running sore on the flesh of Christ,” the leader of over one billion Catholics globally rebukes.

Addressing the need to counter slavery effectively, the Pope asserts the inviolable dignity of every person and warns it must be recognised.

This acceptance of dignity must be anchored solidly in fraternity.

“Fraternity requires us to reject any inequality which would allow one person to enslave another. It demands instead that we act everywhere with proximity and generosity, thus leading to liberation and inclusion for everyone.”

He said the purpose of faith is to build a civilisation based on the equal dignity of every person without discrimination.

“To achieve this will also require the commitment of the media, of education and of culture to a renewed society pledged to freedom, justice and therefore peace.”

World Day of Peace which was initiated by Pope Paul VI is celebrated each year on the first day of January.

The Pope’s Message is sent to the world’s Foreign Ministers and also indicates the Holy See’s diplomatic line during the coming year.

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