· The Pontiff at the conclusion of a symposium of young people on human trafficking ·
A true fight against the mentality which causes humanity to consider another human being “an object to be used and then thrown away”. Pope Francis spoke about this battle to the young people gathered at the symposium on human trafficking held on 15-16 November. On Sunday afternoon, the Pope went to Casina Pio IV in the Vatican, where he was welcomed by Bishop Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
“We are certainly in a moment,” the Pope said in his greeting, “when the human person is treated like an object and ends up as a material good which is thrown-away”. However, he warned, “in the eyes of God, no material is thrown-away, there is only dignity”. Thus the Pope spoke about the commitment of these young people and the volunteer associations which work to rescue victims of human trafficking, helping them to find their dignity again. Thanking them, Francis recalled the Argentine humourist, Luis Landriscina, who once described the difference between cooperation and dedication. Taking up Landriscina's words, the Holy Father said: “When the cow gives us milk, she cooperates for the benefit of our diet, she gives us milk to make cheese, so that we can make a sandwich”. But, he said, “a cheese sandwich doesn't have much taste and so we must put some ham on it”. To obtain the ham we must look to a pig, who “doesn't cooperate, rather she dedicates her life to make the ham”.
With this story, Landriscina clearly described the importance of cooperation and dedication, because “giving one's life is risking one's life”. Life, he added, “only has meaning if we are willing to risk it, to let it pass for the good of others”. This is why the Holy Father expressed his pleasure at “seeing many young people who want to commit themselves”. Then concluding, he said: “Remember this ham and cheese sandwich. Cooperate yes, but with dedication”. Indeed, this fight “to recover the dignity of these people requires dedication”.
St. Peter’s Square
March 22, 2019
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