Nick Benson

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THE REDEDICATION In 1381, England was dedicated to Mary by King Richard II and was 'set apart for her among the nations. This year, the Christians of England are called to make a personal dedication to Mary, taking up her example as Christ’s first disciple. History...

Prayers to say for the rededication of England as Mary’s Dowry

At noon today (Sunday, 29 March), England will be rededicated as the Dowry of Mary. While celebrations have been scaled back for obvious reasons, Catholics can still make join in at home by saying the prayers below. You can say the prayers at any time of day, although...

Online Mass and CAFOD are helping fill the holes left in our Sundays

With the coronavirus pandemic causing Masses across the country to be cancelled, there is now a large demand for virtual worship – and Catholic charity CAFOD hopes its weekly ‘Children’s Liturgy Live!’ will inspire families across the UK after the first session saw...

Catholic Churches in Europe opened to fight COVID-19

Catholic dioceses and religious orders across Europe are offering to turn church facilities into spaces needed for health care or housing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Church leaders throughout Europe have been struggling to maintain Catholic religious devotions...

CAFOD takes its activities online as world stays home

With the onset of the coronavirus leaving many spending more time inside, organisations have swung into action moving their activities online, including UK charity CAFOD, which hopes its digital events and resources will unite international communities. The Covid-19...

Synod final document must include scandal of trafficking, says Cardinal Nichols

The scandal of human trafficking, which affects millions of young people in the world, needs to be included in the Synod of Bishops’ final document, one synod father said.

It is estimated that more than 40 million people are held in some form of slavery “and the vast majority of those are young people,” Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster told the synod.

Traffickers and criminals often take advantage of the insecurity or poverty of young people as they seek to find employment or embark on “dangerous journeys” in search of a better life, he said in his talk.

The “horrific crime of modern-day slavery and human trafficking” is, as Pope Francis has said, “an open wound in the body of humanity,” said the cardinal, who is also president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

Trafficking touches every country in the world and everybody, he said, explaining how the batteries powering the mobile phones in people’s pockets are manufactured using cobalt, which “children in forced labour in central Africa dig out of the earth with their bare hands.”

“The Catholic Church has a crucial part to play” in fighting human trafficking and modern-day slavery, he said.

Traffickers are “a vast, international criminal network” while the Church is “a vast, international network committed to all that is good and just,” he said, praising the work of so many Catholics, especially women religious, who risk their safety helping victims.

The cardinal also mentioned the Santa Marta Group, an anti-trafficking initiative organised by his bishops’ conference, to bring together representatives of bishops’ conferences and top national and international law enforcement officials to promote co-operation, particularly in identifying and caring for victims of trafficking as well as aiding in the prosecution of criminals.

Because “the victim is always at the centre of our efforts,” the group is looking at ways to provide resources and opportunities for young people to dissuade them from leaving their home countries and risk slavery, he said.

“I hope that this topic of human trafficking, so crucial to millions of young people today, finds its place in our final document and that this important work can go from strength to strength,” he said, praying for the intercession of St Josephine Bakhita, a young Sudanese woman who had been sold into slavery.

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Picture: Cardinal Nichols.

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OTHER NEWS

JOIN US FOR THE RE-DEDICATION EVENT -WATCH OUR LIVESTREAM BELOW AT NOON

THE REDEDICATION In 1381, England was dedicated to Mary by King Richard II and was 'set apart for her among the nations. This year, the Christians of England are called to make a personal dedication to Mary, taking up her example as Christ’s first disciple. History...

Prayers to say for the rededication of England as Mary’s Dowry

At noon today (Sunday, 29 March), England will be rededicated as the Dowry of Mary. While celebrations have been scaled back for obvious reasons, Catholics can still make join in at home by saying the prayers below. You can say the prayers at any time of day, although...

Online Mass and CAFOD are helping fill the holes left in our Sundays

With the coronavirus pandemic causing Masses across the country to be cancelled, there is now a large demand for virtual worship – and Catholic charity CAFOD hopes its weekly ‘Children’s Liturgy Live!’ will inspire families across the UK after the first session saw...

Catholic Churches in Europe opened to fight COVID-19

Catholic dioceses and religious orders across Europe are offering to turn church facilities into spaces needed for health care or housing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Church leaders throughout Europe have been struggling to maintain Catholic religious devotions...

CAFOD takes its activities online as world stays home

With the onset of the coronavirus leaving many spending more time inside, organisations have swung into action moving their activities online, including UK charity CAFOD, which hopes its digital events and resources will unite international communities. The Covid-19...