Pope Sends Message to Participants of Anti-Human Trafficking Conference

Police Chiefs and Church Authorities Join Forces to Eradicating Modern Slavery

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Pope Francis expressed his gratitude to British Police chiefs and Church authorities taking part in a two-day conference to fight against human trafficking.

The 2nd International Conference of the Santa Marta Group, which is being held in London from December 5-6, is organized by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, the Metropolitan Police Service and the Home Office.

The Santa Marta Group, which is named after the Pope’s residence, “is an alliance of international police chiefs and Bishops from around the world” who have joined forces to eradicate human trafficking and provide pastoral care for victims.

Launched in April 2014, the police chiefs involved signed a declaration, stating: “As senior law enforcement officials within the international community, we commit to eradicate the scourge of this serious criminal activity, which abuses vulnerable people.”

In his message, which was sent to Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster, the Holy Father expressed his gratitude for their resolve in “combating this evil.”

“Your labors to promote ongoing dialogue on the legal remedies to human trafficking and on the essential care of those who suffer this enslavement are especially important because of the hidden nature of this crime,” he wrote.

“We must never forget, nor may we ignore, the suffering of so many men, women and children whose human dignity is violated through this exploitation.”

The Pope also thanked the British government and police authorities, as well as the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales for their commitment and participation.

“In assuring you that the Church remains steadfast in her pledge to combat human trafficking and to care for victims of this scourge,” the Pope concluded, “I offer the promise of my prayers that Almighty God may bless and guide your efforts.”

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On ZENIT’s website:

For the full text of the Pope’s message, go to:


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Junno Arocho Esteves

Newark, New Jersey, USA Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.

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