As Filipino faithful commemorated its very first National Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking (NDPAHT) on Sunday, February 5, one of the church’s leaders encouraged Catholics to act against injustices stripping human dignity.
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) vice president Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara emphasized the importance of shared mission to help victims of human trafficking, especially Filipino migrant workers who are unjustly treated and violent abused by human traffickers.
“We are encouraged to walk together with our Filipino brothers and sisters who share both our human and Christian dignity, but whose dignity is threatened, exploited, and trampled upon,” Bishop Vergara said in his homily during the Mass for NDPAHT held at the EDSA Shrine in Quezon City.
“[It] is our spiritual way of asking Jesus to help fulfill our task to reach out and help victims of human trafficking also with the hope, that through our prayers, victimizers will be touched by the Lord and have a change of heart,” he added.
Bishop Vergara also called on the clergy to “live up our priestly, prophetic, and kingly call to be co-journeyers in dignity as we heed the challenge to curb and hopefully stop the evil of human trafficking by the mercy and love of Jesus Christ.”
The CBCP Cluster Against Human Trafficking (CCAHT), a group headed by the Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI) and composed of various CBCP commissions, hopes that NDPAHT would help boost the faithful’s awareness on the issue and advance their participation in protecting the victim’s families, especially women and children. (Lem Leal Santiago/Volunteer Writer/Santo Nino de Pandacan Parish | Photo File of RCAM-AOC)