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Consequences of the Slave Trade















JPIC BLOG

Justice and Peace

Integrity of Creation 

 

 

I am a man and nothing of what is human is foreign to me. I am a man, injustice towards other men is revolting my heart. I am a man, cruelty towards men horrifies me. I am a man and what I would like people to do to restore to me freedom, honour and the sacred bonds of family, I want to do that to restore the sons of this unhappy race, family, honour and freedom” 

 

 Members of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) are very familiar with these words, quoted above. They were pronounced by their founder, Cardinal Lavigerie, for the first time in the church of Gesu, Roma, on the 22th of November 1888, as part of a virulent campaign against slavery, still practised at that time, mainly in Africa. They are, however, words that the modern missionary of Africa takes for his or her own.

 

Lavigerie would have been happy with the encyclical of Pope Francis Laudauto Si. Cardinal Lavigerie exhausted himself in his fight against slavery and against injustice in North Africa where he was Archbishop of Algiers and Primate of Carthage. It had taken the Church centuries to accept that the cruelty and injustice of slavery was inhuman and totally against the will of God. Equally, it has taken the Church a similar length of time to realise the sinfulness of humanity’s treatment of nature and the planet on which we live.

 

We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature”. ( Laudato Si #139)

 

Quoting Saint John Paul II: Christians in their turn “realize that their responsibility within creation, and their duty towards nature and the Creator, are an essential part of their faith.”(Laudato Si #64).

 

When nature is viewed solely as a source of profit and gain, this has serious consequences for society. This… has engendered immense inequality, injustice and acts of violence against the majority of humanity, since resources end up in the hands of the first comer or the most powerful: the winner takes all. Completely at odds with this model are the ideals of harmony, justice, fraternity and peace as proposed by Jesus.” (Laudato Si #82)

 

These words from Laudato Si could easily fall from Lavigerie’s lips and they are certainly conform to the mentality of most Missionaries of Africa today. This is why we at St. Vincent de Paul’s wholeheartedly embrace the teaching of Pope Francis and endeavour to do what we can to raise awareness of the injustices committed today against the people of Africa and against the poor and vulnerable of our society here at home.

 

We hope that you will join us in our struggle.

Bidi Bidi Refugee Camp Uganda

one of the largest refugee camps in the world 

Open Cast Gold Mining by International Companies 

in Kalsaka Village, Burkina Faso. The poorer nations continue to be exploited by the rich with no respect for local environment. 

Refugees and Migrants are left to fend for themselves. How long can we continue to ignore to ignore their plight?

Slavery continues in the United Kingdom

Pollution

Do we really want to contnue in this way?