Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cdl. Bergoglio's Homily on modern slavery

ActionJesuit® H.E. Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, SJ had a very forceful homily earlier this month.
Here is the video:

Here is my translation:
The Word of God is strong. It is God who says us: "Shout forcefully and without fear. Shout forcefully and without fear. Raise your voice like trumpet and denounce my people of its wickedness." Be not afraid. Fear not to speak the truth even if the Truth hurts. Even if it is embarrassing, today we join to face each other. Look at each other in the face and say: "You have dignity, and they want to take it from you." And to shout. Today we join to feel stronger because in this city in which we live, they want to weaken us, they want to take away our strength, they want to steal our dignity.

Last year, in a similar Mass to this we had in a church of La Boca, it came from my heart to say that in this city of Buenos Aires, so pretty, so ours, there are slaves. Today I am going to repeat it again. And today we come to look each other in the face to tell ourselves: "If you fight, if I fight with you, if we look at ourselves and we fight together, there will be less slaves." Last year I said in this city of Buenos Aires, and with a lot of pain I said it, are some who "fit" in this system and those who are "excess," those who do not fit, the ones for whom there is no work, nor bread nor dignity. And those those who are "excess" are material to discard because this city of Buenos Aires "discards" those people and we are full of "existential dump trucks," of men and women that are disregarded...

"Anything else for Father to say?"... Yes. Somewhat worse still: these men and women, boys and girls, who do not fit, who are discardable material , who are disregarded, are treated as merchandise. They are objects of trade. And today we can say that in this city the secret workshops, with the "cardboarders, in the world of drugs, in the world of prostitution, human trafficking exists. Therefore the Word of God says us: "Shouts with force and without fear" and I today say:" We shout with force and without fear." No to the slavery. No to the ones considered excess. No to the youth, men and women as discardable material. Is our very flesh that is in jeopardy! It is our very flesh that is sold! The same flesh I have, that you have, is for sale! And you will not be moved [to compassion] for the flesh of your brother? "No, he is not the same as I"... He is your brother, he is your flesh.

Today God says to us the same thing He told Cain! "Cain: where is your brother?" (He had killed him). And Cain with great cynicism, answers Him: "What do I know? Am I my brother's keeper?" This great city of Buenos Aires answers this same way many times! "What do I care? Do I have to take care of everything?” He is your brother, your flesh, your blood!

We have hardened, we have lost our heart. Buenos Aires forgot how to cry because it sells its children, Buenos Aires forgot how to cry because excludes its children, Buenos Aires forgot how to cry because it enslaves its children...

And today we look each other in the face. Some will be able to say: "Well, the priest is going to tell us to pray." The only thing that I tell you today is look each other in the face, recognize our brother's dignity and fight so that dignity survives. And that we open the heart to the weeping, to that weeping that asks pardon for the crime of trading in people. And I am not inventing things, because I was listening what you have told me: the secret workshops [sweatshops], forcing of minors into prostitution, drug trafficking...

It is a system of corruption that covers and allows all this be possible.

Then brothers and sisters, let us be together in this. We all have something we can give each other. Together we fight so that this city recognizes where it has fallen... and that it weeps, and rights itself ... and that there be justice. Together let us say that is worthwhile to struggle so that in Buenos Aires we will have no more slavery... [and] there is a lot of slavery. Because that is what God asks us today: "Shout with force and without fear. Raise your voice as a trumpet." And face everyone who [participates] in that infernal machine of exclusion, that infernal machine to discard people and denounce its conduct and we ask that God change their heart.

And to those who we want to fight for this, that God may continue us giving strength and bravery so that Buenos Aires weeps over its injustice, weeps over its baseness, weep it has become the mother of slaves. That God grant us the grace of this conscience and of the light. May it be thus.

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