Church needs to get political to fight slavery: Francis

Call for political engagement

The Church has a duty to be involved in politics when it comes to fighting global problems such as human trafficking, Pope Francis has told a summit in the Vatican, reports Vatican Insider.

The Pope, who was speaking to a group of judges and legal experts from around the world, said it was not true that the Church should keep out of the political realm.

He said the Church must immerse itself in “greater politics,” quoting Paul VI's remarks that: “Politics is one of the highest forms of charity.”

The fight against human trafficking has become one of the central features of this papacy and Francis has backed global efforts to eradicate the problem which has become a multi-billion dollar criminal business.

During his speech on Friday, organised by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, the Pope stressed the need for judges to be independent and to remain free from the pressures of governments, private institutions and “the structures of sin” such as organised crime.

“Without this freedom, a nation’s judiciary is corrupted and corrupting,” the Pope told the gathering at the Casina Pio IV in the Vatican gardens.

He also called on countries to consider emulating Italy by seizing money made by human traffickers and using it to help victims.

Those present at the summit included the United States’ anti-slavery ambassador Susan Coppedge and the British government’s anti-slavery tsar Kevin Hyland.

Photo: Francis and Archbishop Sanchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Social Sciences (ANSA)

FULL COVERAGE

Pope: “Church needs to get political” (Vatican Insider)

Pope to press campaign against slavery with judges (Crux)

VIDEO

Woman who escaped sexual slavery tell her story (Rome Reports)

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