Pope Francis is urging the collaboration and commitment of other sectors of the Church in order to make the fight against the scourge of trafficking in persons more prompt, effective and widespread.
He made the call on Thursday while meeting in the Vatican some 120 participants in the first general assembly of Talitha Kum, an international network of consecrated men and women fighting human trafficking.
Talitha Kum is a project of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG), that brings together the women’s religious congregations, in collaboration with the men’s Union of Superiors General (USG).
The Pope expressed admiration for the impressive achievement of the initiative that began in 2009 and today includes 52 networks of women’s congregations active in 92 countries of the world. It includes 2,000 volunteers who have helped more 15,000 victims and reached out to more than 200,000 people in prevention and awareness-raising activities.
“The numerous congregations that have worked and are working in the “forefront” of the Church’s missionary action against the scourge of trafficking in persons,” the Pope said, “deserve gratitude.”
Problems and solutions
He pointed to two main issues that the general assembly is focussing on. Firstly, great differences, mainly due to socio-cultural factors, still mark the condition of women in the world. Secondly, the limits of the neo-liberal development model, with its individualistic vision, risks depriving the state of responsibility.
The assembly, he noted, is identifying proposals for solutions, and highlighting the resources needed to implement them. He appreciated their pastoral planning for a more qualified and fruitful assistance to the local Churches.
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