Pope Francis and Human Trafficking

EDITORIAL

We don’t think anyone should be trafficked as a sex slave. We don’t think anyone should be trafficked as a slave for any purpose.

We do think those who are trafficked deserve and should receive the support of the moral leaders on the planet.

We believe these moral leaders should do everything within their considerable powers to end human trafficking including calling a spade a spade.

Pope Francis met with victims of human trafficking and went to the human trafficking conference to deliver remarks to those attending the two day international conference of religious and law enforcement leaders held at the Vatican.

He has declared human trafficking to be a “crime against humanity. “ And so, it is.

News story links, Washington Post, Vatican Radio, Catholic Herald, UK:

 http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/pope-francis-human-trafficking-is-a-crime-against-humanity/2014/04/10/50f0c0f2-c0d3-11e3-9ee7-02c1e10a03f0_story.html

 http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/04/10/pope_francis:_human_trafficking,_an_open_wound_on_society/en1-789497

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2014/04/10/pope-francis-human-trafficking-is-an-open-wound-on-society/

What astounds us is that the rape and sodomy of children by Roman Catholic priests and nuns is not so definitively declared to be a crime by the leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

What, in heaven’s name, does he think the bundling up of altar boys and trooping them off to beach houses to be passed around for molestation by groups of priests is if not human trafficking?

Even without the trooping around and passing around, what is the corrupt invoking of the approval of Almighty God used by religious authority figures against these children, if not a twisted weapon of slavery?

What is the corrupt invoking of the fear of Almighty God as a silencer if not a weapon to enslave these children?

What is the meaning of not rebuking the Italian bishops for agreeing to a document that says they don’t have to report sexual abuse and letting stand the president of the Italian Bishops Conference statement that they did this to “protect” victims?

Also, not to be missed is this nugget from newly minted Cardinal Vincent Nichols of the United Kingdom (the Bishops Conference of England and Wales was an organizer of the conference from the Vatican Radio report:

Asked what for him was the most shocking aspect of what the victims of human trafficking have to endure, the Cardinal replied: “the utter sense of darkness” in which the victims live and “the depth of empathy” they have for all the other victims still being held as slaves. Hello, have you met any victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy and nuns and their brothers and sisters in other religious denominations? All popes have a pulpit on the world stage but this pope has pulpit of immense proportions.

The one place that he has absolute authority, — not moral suasion, not suggestion, not a “let me be a model for you” clout, — absolute authority — is over priests, bishops, cardinals, curia officials, and members of religious orders of priests and sisters.

Bishops aren’t recognized as bishops in the Roman Catholic Church without a piece of paper with a pope’s signature on it naming the man as a bishop. Cardinals don’t become cardinals without being selected by a pope. Priests aren’t ordained unless the Vatican says they are, and they remain priests until the Vatican says they aren’t, religious orders are either approved or not approved by the Vatican. All of this stays spinning because a pope sits on the chair of St. Peter.

Taking moral stands on the issues of the day and using the considerable force of the papacy to drive points home is what power is for – it derives from the Godhead and is to be used for good.

When in God’s name will it be used by a pope to save the children that are counted as part of its 1.2 billion population from predator priests and nuns and non-accountable hierarchy?

This does not happen by a pope setting up a commission, defensively declaring his institution as being picked on, or by declaring that human trafficking is a crime.

The elephant continues to own the room and it gets uglier and bigger by the day.

— Kristine Ward, Chair, National Survivor Advocates Coalition, KristineWard @hotmail.com

Special Notes

 Pennsylvania

 Hats off to all in Pennsylvania who worked hard to get bills for strengthened mandated reporter requirements regarding sexual abuse to the governor’s desk. The governor is expected to sign the bills.

Here’s the link:

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2014/04/child_abuse_mandated_reporter.html

New York

Maybe the pain of having a legislature turn on you when you thought you had a “done deal” will boost Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s empathy for sexual abuse victims – they suffered the same fate with legislators in Ohio who did an about face on statute of limitation reform after being leaned upon by the bishops of Ohio.

Here’s the link to Cardinal Dolan’s venting:

dailynews.com/news/politics/timothy-cardinal-dolan-outraged-state-approve-tax-credits-article-1.175131

Missouri

A grateful salute to Kansas City police detective Maggie McGuire for her work on the Shawn Ratigan child pornography case. We remind our readers that convicted Bishop Robert Finn remains the sitting bishop with jurisdictional authority in the Diocese of Kansas City- St. Joseph, Missouri. “Blistering” remarks were made at the award ceremony about Bishop Finn.

Here’s the link:

http://www.kansascity.com/2014/04/09/4948230/kc-detective-honored-diocese-blasted.html

— Kristine Ward, Chair, National Survivor Advocates Commission, (NSAC) KristineWard@hotmail.com

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