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Saturday, December 10, 2016
Cardinal commends prayers for victims of the slave trade
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¬†A special Intercession remembering all those who died and whose freedom was extinguished by slavery will be said at Mass in Catholic churches in the Diocese of Westminster over the coming weekend (24≠ 25 March). The Intercession forms part of a letter written by the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor and sent to the 216 Parishes in his Diocese in which he draws attention to the great suffering of many millions of people who were enslaved as part of the transatlantic slave trade and reminds the faithful to be aware of the evils of contemporary forms of slavery. Full text of letter sent to Parishes in the Diocese of Westminster by the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor. "Next Tuesday, 27th March I shall be joining with fellow Christians and people of other faiths in the National Commemoration in Westminster Abbey of the 200th anniversary of the passage of the Slave Trade Act. This Act outlawed the slave trade throughout the British Empire and made it illegal for British ships to be involved in the trade, marking the beginning of the end for the transatlantic traffic in human beings. This is a deeply humbling occasion when we recall the great suffering of the many millions of people who were enslaved and forcibly taken from their homes in Africa. I am conscious that the consequences of slavery have affected many people in my Diocese and that in our parishes there are many descendents of former slaves. I want to assure them of my thoughts and prayer on the occasion of this poignant anniversary. I also ask everyone to reflect on the determination of many Christians in the 19th Century to outlaw the evil of slavery. I am also conscious that although today slavery is illegal in every country of the world, as Christians we need to be aware of the assaults on human dignity through contemporary forms of slavery. These include those forced into bonded labour, the exploitation of child labour and, evident in our own city, the evils of people trafficking. I commend to the parishes of the Diocese an Intercession which should be included in the Celebration of Mass this weekend: "As we recall the anniversary of the passage of the Slave Trade Act, we remember those who died and whose freedom was extinguished by slavery. In the words of William Wilberforce: We pray to Thee for all the dark corners of the earth, for all who are suffering under the evils of slavery, or from injustice or cruelty of any kind. Source: Archbishops House
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