St. Nicholas speaks

The Pontifical Council for Migrants has released a statement against sexual slavery and human trafficking (hat tip to Dr. Mirus). I told you how proud I'd be to call myself Catholic if I knew that the heroes following the example of St. Nicholas were the present-day Bishops.

Well, our Beloved Holy Father is following the footsteps of St. Nicholas.

Do you know the story?

Three young women (girls, really) in Myra were too poor to afford dowries. Their father, in keeping with the mores of the age, was considering selling them off. You might be horrified, but remember the Church introduced the concept of women's rights to the world.

Good St. Nick was horrified too. This was no way to treat a child of God! So he quietly dropped three bags of gold into their home one night, one for each daughter. He not only prevented an egregious sin, he taught the dad a very important lesson in fatherhood.

Our Papa's Council teaches us this same lesson as we contemplate the horror of this sin in our current day: People trafficking, especially of women, minors and children, has turned into a powerful global industry, the world's third most lucrative criminal activity after arms trading and drug dealing. It consists of powerful networks that operate in countries of origin, of transit and/or of destination.

Prostitution is not a new phenomenon. However, what is new is that it has been turned into a complex worldwide business that takes advantage of the poverty and vulnerability of its victims, who have become the slaves of the 21st century. Deceived and thrown onto the streets, they are a living example of the unfair discrimination against them, imposed by a consumerist society.

There are many current difficulties hindering the recognition that people trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation is a crime. These include a certain lack of visibility of the phenomenon, deriving from an attitude that denies that people involved in prostitution are also victims.

Pray for all those who suffer at the hands of evildoers~

It is vital that sexual exploitation and people trafficking be recognised as acts of violence, especially against women, minors and children. As such, they are an offence against the dignity of the person and a serious violation of basic human rights.

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