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Pope Francis calls for protection of women and girls

POPE FRANCIS GENERAL AUDIENCE

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 02/06/22

Genital mutilation, human trafficking, and the 'logic of rejection': Pope Francis appeals for "every life"

After the midday Angelus on February 6, Pope Francis mentioned violence against women and girls, calling us to “really think about” these tragedies.

3 million girls

First, the Pope noted this:

Today is the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. Approximately three million girls undergo this operation every year, often in conditions that are very dangerous to their health. This practice, unfortunately widespread in various regions of the world, demeans the dignity of women and gravely undermines their physical integrity.

“We see them on the streets”

Then the Holy Father called to mind the problem of human trafficking, one of the issues that he has often spoken out about in his pontificate.

And next Tuesday, liturgical memorial of Saint Josephine Bakhita, we will celebrate the World Day of Prayer and Reflection against Human Trafficking. This is a deep wound, inflicted by the shameful pursuit of economic interests without any respect for the human person. So many girls – we see them on the streets – who are not free, are slaves of traffickers, who send them to work and, if they do not bring the money, beat them. This is happening in our cities today. Let us really think about it.

The Pope noted his sorrow about these “scourges of humanity” and urged leaders to “act decisively to prevent both exploitation and the humiliating practices that afflict women and girls in particular.”

Every life must be preserved, always

Finally, the Holy Father spoke of Italy’s “Day for Life” celebrated this February 6.

Today, in Italy, it is also the Day for Life, on the theme “Protect every life.” This appeal is valid for everyone, especially for the most vulnerable categories: the elderly, the sick, and even children who are prevented from being born. I join the Italian bishops in promoting the culture of life as a response to the logic of rejection and to the demographic decline. Every life must be preserved, always!

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Pope FrancisWomen
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