The Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, warned against the modern forms of slavery and exploitation during a Mass this week for immigrants, women involved in prostitution and victims of slave labor.
During the Mass, which commemorated the anniversary of the International Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and was held at the shrine of Our Lady of Immigrants in Buenos Aires, Cardinal Bergoglio pointed to the need to work for ending modern-day forms of slavery. “Our country shelters slave traders: men and women who buy and sell people. Men and women who act at the same as those Egyptian foremen did with the Israelites: they beat them, the make them work more, the take away their papers so they cannot travel about. You all know about this,” the cardinal said.
According to the AICA news agency, Cardinal Bergoglio said, “Here in Buenos Aires, in the big city, in this city that is more modern every day, there also are migrant brothers and sisters who are working 20 hours a day, 18 hours a day, they get very little pay and a salami sandwich. … These modern-day slave traders could care less that kids are dying,” he said.
“Since we are Christians we also pray to God to touch the hearts of these men and women who enslave because they are also slaves themselves. Slaves of something else: of greed, pride, self-importance and evil. I pray to you for them but above all I come to you to pray for our humble brothers and sisters…who are subjected to this slavery,” the cardinal said.