RENATE President Imelda Poole, Sr Maria Luisa Puglisi AASC, director of the Fundación Amaranta, and RENATE Communications Person, Anne Kelleher, were amongst approximately 200 delegates gathered at Fraterna Domus, in Sacrofino, near Rome to look concretely, pastorally and practically at the Church’s implementation of the POHT, favouring a deep appropriation and our working better in concert. It was a time of open and deep sharing and reflecting on how best to implement the Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking document, produced by the Vatican 17 January 2019.
- Representatives of Bishop Conferences
- Catholic pastoral agents
- Representatives of major organizations expressing the Church’s social commitment
- Experts, partners, representatives of foundations and NGOs.
(POHT) The POHT is the fruit of consultation with international Catholic organizations, religious congregations and Bishops’ Conference from all regions of the world. The document was approved by the Holy Father and has been signed by the two Under-Secretaries of the Migrants & Refugees Section.
The Conference planners and sponsors, chaired by the Migrant and Refugees Section, included Caritas Internationalis, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the International Catholic Migration Commission, Talitha Kum, the Santa Marta Group, and the Apostolate of the Sea. Each of these organisations played significant roles throughout the three days of the conference.
In terms of process, seven thematic sessions corresponding with the major topics treated in the POHT, were considered over the three days. Each of the seven sessions was introduced by two speakers, 15-minuteseach, providing background to the topic and questions for the discussion of 60 minutes. The themes were as follows:
- Human Trafficking in the Context of Sexual exploitation.
- Human Trafficking in the Context of Slave Labour.
- Human Trafficking and Human Smuggling.
- Other forms of Human Trafficking.
- Identification, Prevention and Prosecution of Human Trafficking.
- Protection of Survivors.
- Partnership in Responding to Human Trafficking.
Everyone agreed that at the end of the three days, we gained a greater appreciation of the Church’s teaching and ministry in terms of strengths, weaknesses, policy options as well as enhanced coordination worldwide.
We also had a deeper appreciation for our understanding of ‘Church’ not as an institution but more so as a communion of souls together, working together to ensure the dignity of the human person and in honour of the Gospel.
It was a hugely valuable time of reflection and hard work, underpinned by mutual respect and appreciation for each other’s contributions. We had great possibilities to build and forge links and understandings, which will support us in our future work together towards the implementation of the POHT over time.
By 11 April, we had collectively devised 500+ recommendations, which will be further refined and condensed before taking them further in terms of implementation at local parish and community levels.
The highlight of the work was the Papal audience on 11 April, where Pope Francis not only affirmed us in our work but encouraged us to ‘’…persevere in the mission – often risky and anonymous, but precisely because of this , irrefutable proof of your selfless generosity.’’ view more.
Full report and recommendations will be available in the coming weeks.
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.