L'Osservatore Romano

Pope Exhorts Whole World to Help Find Missing Children

Calls on authorities to avoid indifference

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Pope Francis made a heartfelt appeal on behalf of children today, noting at the general audience that May 25 is International Missing Children’s Day.
«It is a duty of all to protect children, especially those exposed to a high risk of exploitation, trafficking and devious conduct,» the Pope said. «I hope that the civil and religious Authorities are able to shake and sensitize consciences, to avoid indifference in face of the hardship of children who are alone, exploited and removed from their families and their social context; children who cannot grow serenely and look to the future with hope.
«I invite all to prayer so that each one of them is restored to the affection of his dear ones.»
Vatican Radio noted that Missing Children’s Day was established in the United States by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, four years after the disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz in New York City. The date of his disappearance, May 25, was chosen for the annual commemoration. Since 1998 Missing Children’s Day has been commemorated internationally.

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