2022 Assembly


Why Pope Francis Is a Powerful Advocate for Those who Have Become Enslaved


Fr. Donal Dorr, Missionary Priest, Theologian & APT Ireland (Act to Prevent Trafficking) member, gives us an insight into why Pope Francis is a powerful advocate for those who have become enslaved through Human Trafficking, as suggested in the publication ”The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope”, by Austen Ivereigh (2nd edition, London: Allen & Unwin).
Full article at:
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

102nd World Day of Migrants and Refugees, 17th January 2016


Pope Francis shared his message to honour the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, on the 12th of September, 2015. His speech was entitled “Migrants and Refugees Challenge Us. The Response of the Gospel of Mercy,” which is especially apt in this Jubilee Year of Mercy.
Speaking of a time when migration continues unabated as people risk modern slavery and death in order to escape from war-torn countries, Pope Francis reminds us that “Today, more than in the past, the Gospel of mercy troubles our consciences, prevents us from taking the suffering of others for granted and points out ways of responding which, grounded in the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, find practical expression in works of spiritual and corporal mercy.”
Acknowledging the challenges faced by refugees, migrants and host societies, Pope Francis places the importance of hospitality within the biblical context, as we are encouraged to offer welcome and sanctuary to those most in need of our help. In doing so, our encounter with migrants and refugees is truly an encounter with Christ himself.
In imparting his Apostolic blessing, Pope Francis entrust us to the Virgin Mary, Mother of migrants and refugees and to St. Joseph, who experienced the hardships of emigration first-hand in the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt.
Full address is available at: Messages World Day of Migrants and Refugees
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

World Day of Peace, 1st January 2016


In his New Year address on the 1st of January, Pope Francis invites us to overcome indifference and make every effort to win peace in 2016. He encourages us to actively engage in the pursuit of justice and peace and to adopt an attitude of mutual responsibility so as to act in solidarity with our brothers and sisters.
While acknowledging that indifference is nothing new, Pope Francis calls each of us in this Year of Mercy, to “…make compassion, love, mercy and solidarity a true way of life, a rule of conduct in our relationships with one another” (5 (21)).
For full text, please see:
Pope Francis chooses 2016 World Peace Day theme
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences Plenary Session 17-21 April 2015


Pope Francis“The light of the Gospel is a guide for anyone who is at the service of the civilisation of love, where the Beatitudes have a social resonance and where there is a real inclusion of the lowliest.” Pope Francis
Thus spoke Pope Francis to delegates at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS) at their 17th-21st April, 2015 meeting to consider the theme of Human Trafficking: Issues beyond Criminalization.
The meeting considered human trafficking as a crime against humanity and raised challenging questions about repatriation; the necessity for improved assistance and support to victims of human trafficking and what is being done to stop the national and multi-national demands for exploited labour and sexual exploitation.
RENATE Conference will conduct a training programme on the issue of repatriation when it meets in Madrid in June, 2015.
For full information and final recommendations arising from the PASS meeting:
Adapted and prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person.

World Communications Day 17 May 2015 Communicating the Family


Pope Francis and familiesThe 49th World Communications Day was celebrated on Sunday, the 17th of May, 2015 –the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord and the Sunday before Pentecost.
The World Day for Social Communications was the only worldwide celebration called for by the second Vatican Council (Inter Mirifica, 1963). Pope Francis chose as this year’s theme; “Communicating the Family: A Privileged Place of Encounter with the Gift of Love.”
In his message to the world, Pope Francis referred to Evangelii Gaudium 66, in stating “…the family is ‘where we learn to live with others despite our differences.” He spoke of the family as a community in which we all learn to communicate and to celebrate life.
Pope Francis spoke about making use of modern technology to our advantage, as a means to “…share stories, to stay in contact with distant friends, to thank others or to seek their forgiveness and to open the door to new encounters.”
RENATE Network, as a European ‘family’ of diverse countries, cultures and customs, shares the Gospel values in its effort to ‘free the oppressed’ from human trafficking and exploitation.
For the full text of the Pope’s address:
Adapted and prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person.



Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace on 1st January 2015.
1. At the beginning of this New Year, which we welcome as God’s gracious gift to all humanity, I offer heartfelt wishes of peace to every man and woman, to all the world’s peoples and nations, to heads of state and government, and to religious leaders. In doing so, I pray for an end to wars, conflicts and the great suffering caused by human agency, by epidemics past and present, and by the devastation wrought by natural disasters. I pray especially that, on the basis of our common calling to cooperate with God and all people of good will for the advancement of harmony and peace in the world, we may resist the temptation to act in a manner unworthy of our humanity.
In my Message for Peace last year, I spoke of “the desire for a full life… which includes a longing for fraternity which draws us to fellowship with others and enables us to see them not as enemies or rivals, but as brothers and sisters to be accepted and embraced”.[1] Since we are by nature relational beings, meant to find fulfilment through interpersonal relationships inspired by justice and love, it is fundamental for our human development that our dignity, freedom and autonomy be acknowledged and respected. Tragically, the growing scourge of man’s exploitation by man gravely damages the life of communion and our calling to forge interpersonal relations marked by respect, justice and love. This abominable phenomenon, which leads to contempt for the fundamental rights of others and to the suppression of their freedom and dignity, takes many forms. I would like briefly to consider these, so that, in the light of God’s word, we can consider all men and women “no longer slaves, but brothers and sisters”.
Listening to God’s plan for humanity (…)
Full text available here: Pope’s Message for the World Day of Peace_01.01.2015
Source: The Holy See

Presentation of Pope’s Message for the World Day of Peace in Poland


The Catholic News Agency (KAI) in Poland presented the Pope’s message for the World Day of Peace at the press conference on 10th December 2014. This media brief was organised in the venue of the Polish Episcopal Conference (KEP) and in paralel with a corresponding event at the Vatican.
Bishop Artur Miziński, General Secretary of KEP, spoke about the leading topic of the Pope’s message, which is slavery. Many people think that slavery is a thing of the past. In fact, this social plague remains all too real in today’s world. NO LONGER SLAVES, BUT BROTHERS AND SISTERS – says Pope Francis. And this is an inspiration for us all, for the coming year, 2015.
Professor Adam Glapiński, representative of the Monetary Policy Council (RPP), spoke about a paradigm shift in the economy which began in 2007, when the first symptoms of the world crisis appeared. It continues nowadays and urges us to look for the values in all that we do. Campaigning for profit and following the economy according to Adam Smith, is not a solution for today. It would be good to see the implementation of Catholic Social Teaching among businesses and entrepreneurs’, said Prof. Glapiński. And it is possible, there are good examples of it in Austria and Germany, he continued.
Mr. Piotr Mierecki, Director of the Unit against Trafficking in Human Beings at the Ministry of Interior, explained how the Polish state is coping with the problem of human trafficking. The scale of the phenomenon cannot be known precisely, due to its nature. Many cases remain hidden. However last year about 100 trials took place and as a result of this not less than 1000 persons were identified as victims of human trafficking in Poland.
Sr. Anna Bałchan, PoMOC Association and Member of RENATE, was one of the key speakers invited to this press conference. She gave testimony of her experience with the victims of human trafficking and domestic violence in the work which she has developed in Poland for 15 years. She emphasised the burnining problem of family crisis and broken relationships in the present day society, which makes people vulnerable and easy targets for the oppressors. Sr. Anna shared information on how her Association is going to respond to this. They are planning to build a development and care centre for children. This initiative willl involve adults from dysfunctional families and train them in parental skills. Many forget that a human being is created to be loved, not to be used, she said.
Video in Polish: Godziwa zapłata a problem handlu ludźmi

Pope Francis : "HumanTrafficking is shameful for our society that calls itself civilised"


Pope Francis on Friday received and addressed, in the Clementine Hall at the Vatican, a group of people who have been taking part in the plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant people. The meeting in Rome has looked at the issue of “The Church’s Pastoral Care in the Context of Forced Migration”. And in his address Pope Francis spoke of the trafficking of persons as a shameful activity and a disgrace to our society that calls itself ‘civilized’.” Exploiters and clients at all levels should make a serious examination of conscience, within themselves and before God!” said the Holy Father.
Pope Francis Human Trafficking
Below is a full text of the Holy Father’s address
Vatican City, 24 May 2013 (VIS) – “The trafficking of persons is an ignoble activity, a disgrace to our society that calls itself ‘civilized’! Exploiters and clients at all levels should make a serious examination of conscience, within themselves and before God!” These were the Pope’s words to the participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, gathered in Rome to discuss the issue of “The Church’s Pastoral Care in the Context of Forced Migration”.
The assembly coincides with the publication of the document: “Welcoming Christ in Refugees and Persons Displaced by Force”, which calls attention to the millions of refugees, displaced, and stateless persons. It also addresses the scourge of human trafficking, which more and more frequently affects children who suffer the worst forms of abuse, including being forced into armed conflicts.
“Today,” the pontiff exclaimed, “the Church renews her strong call that the dignity and centrality of each person be always protected, in respect of fundamental rights … rights that she asks be concretely extended to the millions of men and women in every continent whose rights are not recognized. In a world where there is so much talk of rights it seems that the only one to have rights is money. … We are living in a world ruled by money. We live in a world, in a culture ruled by the fetishism of money.” In this context, the Pope noted that the dicastery responsible for the pastoral care of migrants and itinerant people is very worried by “situations where the family of nations is called to intervene in a spirit of fraternal solidarity with programmes of protection, often established against the backdrop of tragic events that almost daily are affecting the lives of many people. I express my appreciation and my gratitude and encourage you to continue along the path of service to our poorest and most marginalized brothers and sisters.”
The attention of the Church, who is “mother”, is expressed “with special tenderness and closeness for those forced to flee their country and live in-between rootlessness and integration. This tension destroys a person. Christian compassion—this ‘suffering with’ [con-passione]—is expressed above all in the commitment to know about the events that force one to leave their country and, where necessary, in giving voice to those who are unable to make their cry of sorrow and oppression heard. In this,” he said to the assembly’s participants, “you carry out an important task, as well as in making the Christian communities aware of their many brothers and sisters who are marked by wounds that scar their existence: violence, abuse of power, distance from family, traumatic events, flight from home, and uncertainty about their future in refugee camps. These are all dehumanizing elements and they must compel every Christian and the entire community to a concrete attention.”
However, the Holy Father also invited them to also see in the eyes of refugees and forcibly displaced persons ”the light of hope. It is a hope that is expressed in expectation for the future, the desire for friendly relationships, the desire to participate in the society that is hosting them, even through language learning, access to employment, and education for the youngest. I admire the courage of those who hope to gradually resume a normal life, awaiting joy and love to return and lighten their existence. We all can and must nurture that hope!”
Finally, the Pope launched an appeal to governments, legislators, and the entire international community to face the reality of forcibly displaced persons “with effective initiatives and new approaches to safeguard their dignity, to improve the quality of their lives, and to meet the challenges that emerge from modern forms of persecution, oppression, and slavery. It is, I emphasize, human persons who appeal to the solidarity and support, who need urgent measures, but also and above all who need understanding and goodness. Their condition cannot leave us indifferent.”
“As Church,” he concluded, “we remember that when we heal the wounds of refugees, displaced persons, and victims of trafficking, we are practising the commandment of love that Jesus has left us; when we identify with the stranger, with those who are suffering, with all the innocent victims of violence and exploitation. … Here I would also like to recall the care that every pastor and Christian community must have for the journey of faith of Christian refugees and those forcibly uprooted from their lives, as well as for that of Christian emigrants. They require special pastoral care that respects their traditions and accompanies them in a harmonious integration into the ecclesial reality in which they find themselves. Let us not forget the flesh of Christ, who is in the flesh of the refugees. Their flesh is that of Christ.”
You can find more from the Vatican Information Service
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Text from page The Vatican information Service news article 25th May
of the Vatican Radio website