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St Daniele Comboni (Wikimedia)

Inspired by the dignity of each human being as revealed by Jesus, Christians are called to fight “every form of slavery”, whether physical, social or spiritual, Pope Francis said yesterday. Source: OSV News.

“Jesus, God made man, elevated the dignity of every human being and exposed the falsehood of slavery,” the Pope told people gathered in St Peter’s Square for his general audience.

“As Christians, therefore, we are called to fight against every form of slavery.”

Continuing his weekly catechesis on zeal for evangelisation, the Pope discussed the life of St Daniele Comboni, a 19th-century Italian bishop who dedicated his life to establishing and supporting missions in Africa, where Pope Francis said the saint witnessed the “horror of slavery”.

“Comboni, by the light of Christ, became aware of the evil of slavery; he also understood that social slavery is rooted in a deeper slavery, that of the heart, that of sin, from which the Lord delivers us,” he said.

St Comboni, the Pope said, understood that those he evangelised in Africa were “not only ‘objects’ but ‘subjects’ of the mission” and praised the saint’s philosophy about evangelisation in Africa contained in his missionary slogan: “Save Africa through Africa.”

“How important it is, even today, to advance the faith and human development from within the contexts of mission instead of transplanting external models or limiting oneself to sterile welfarism,” Pope Francis said. “Take up the way of evangelisation from the culture of the people. Evangelising the culture and enculturating the Gospel go together.”


Pope: Christians are called to fight ‘every form of slavery (By Justin McLellan, OSV News)