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Vatican City, Feb 9, 2018 / 10:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A conference on human trafficking and modern-day slavery was held at the Vatican Feb. 8-9, bringing together church leaders and senior police officers from more than 30 different countries to discuss progress and setbacks in initiatives.
It was the fifth meeting of the Santa Marta Group, a Pope Francis-endorsed international alliance of police and bishops, since its formation in 2014. The group was developed by the Catholic Bishops' Conference for England and Wales (CBCEW) and is named after the building where Francis lives in the Vatican.
Meeting - Reports - Delegates - Countries - Agencies
The two-day meeting included reports from delegates of 18 countries, and several international agencies, as well as presentations by Greg Burke of the Holy See Press Office and Alexander DesForges, spokesperson of the England and Wales bishops’ conference.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, archbishop of Westminster, told journalists Feb. 9 that he was “humbled” by what he heard from delegates. “What was important in this meeting was that members were willing to share their sense of failure as well as their sense of success,” he said.
Kinds - Meetings - Promises - Time - People
Often in these kinds of meetings “it's all about saying how good we are, what we are going to do, our promises...” he noted. But this time, people felt comfortable enough with each other “to say, ‘Well, actually, we’re just beginning,’ or ‘Actually, this didn’t work,’” he said.
Nichols explained that estimates say there are 42 million people around the world currently enslaved in some form. “The drama of human trafficking,” he said, “has never been greater ever… than it is at this moment.”
Archbishop - Augustine - Akubeze - Benin - City
Archbishop Augustine Akubeze of Benin City, Nigeria, was also present at the conference. He told journalists that the Nigerian bishops’ conference joined the Santa Marta Group because their country is one of the major countries of origin for trafficked people.
He said that...
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