Pope Benedict advocates for respect of rights and identity of women, in message for upcoming World Day of Migrants and Refugees.


In a message made public today, Pope Benedict called for “Hope, courage, love and 'creativity in charity' regarding the widespread phenomenon of migrations.

The message was published for the upcoming 92nd World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which will be celebrated on January 15, 2006, and has the theme of "Migrations, sign of the times."

Among other questions and challenges, Pope Benedict stressed the recent trend of an increasing part of the phenomenon involving women, saying " female emigration tends to become more and more autonomous. Women cross the border of their homeland alone in search of work in another country. Indeed it often happens that the migrant woman becomes the principal source of income for her family. It is a fact that the presence of women is especially prevalent in sectors that offer low salaries.”

Pope Benedict called on  Christians “to dedicate themselves to assuring just treatment for migrant women out of respect for their femininity in recognition of their equal rights."

In another aspect, the pontiff wished to stress the problem of human trafficking, especially women. “In some cases there are women and girls who are destined to be exploited almost like slaves in their work, and not infrequently in the sex industry too.”

As Pope John Paul II did,  Pope Benedict denounced what he touted as “the widespread hedonistic and commercial culture which encourages the systematic exploitation of sexuality. He then vowed for a “whole program of redemption and liberation from which Christians cannot withdraw."

Finally, Pope Benedict gave a message to all Christians regarding this phenomenon, calling for “Hope, courage, love and 'creativity in charity' ..and Christian efforts made to help these brothers and sisters in their suffering.”


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