Fratelli Tutti 24: Slavery

I don’t know if anyone has done a study on this, but I wonder: Have there never been more living slaves in history as there are now? Excerpts from Pope Francis’ message from six years ago:

24. We should also recognize that “even though the international community has adopted numerous agreements aimed at ending slavery in all its forms, and has launched various strategies to combat this phenomenon, millions of people today – children, women and men of all ages – are deprived of freedom and forced to live in conditions akin to slavery… Today, as in the past, slavery is rooted in a notion of the human person that allows him or her to be treated as an object… Whether by coercion, or deception, or by physical or psychological duress, human persons created in the image and likeness of God are deprived of their freedom, sold and reduced to being the property of others. They are treated as means to an end… [Criminal networks] are skilled in using modern means of communication as a way of luring young men and women in various parts of the world”.[Message for the 2015 World Day of Peace(8 December 2014), 3-4: AAS 107 (2015), 69-71]

People enslave others simply because they can. They have been formed in a system of hierarchy in which the wealthy and powerful pay for what they want. People who they can use. People who can collect slaves on their behalf. And while slave-like conditions can exist with chains and physical captivity, there are other ways to bind the weak, the needy, the powerless, the hidden, the young, the old, the laborers, etc..

A perversion that exceeds all limits when it subjugates women and then forces them to abort. An abomination that goes to the length of kidnapping persons for the sake of selling their organs. Trafficking in persons and other contemporary forms of enslavement are a worldwide problem that needs to be taken seriously by humanity as a whole: “since criminal organizations employ global networks to achieve their goals, efforts to eliminate this phenomenon also demand a common and, indeed, a global effort on the part of various sectors of society”.[Ibid., 5]

It may be that we do not take this seriously enough, especially the upper parts of the slippery slope: many products enjoyed by free people in free nations.

All citations of Fratelli Tutti (which can be found on this link) are © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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