Excerpts from Pope Francis’ Talk: Call for Healing

“Everyone who is dependent on drugs has a personal story that needs healing and love.”

“We cannot fall into the injustice of classifying an addict as someone who is a broken object. Every person has to feel dignity to be healed. Dignity we have to reach. Important these people maintain dignity as children of God.

“Important to understand the problem of drugs is essentially a destructive factor. Networks that make it possible to die – not a physical death but psychological and social. There are powerful networks which catch people and there are people responsible for this inside governments. The only way to proceed is to go up from small scale peddling to sophisticated money laundering operations among banks which specialize in laundering dirty money.

“A judge in my country began to tackle this seriously. Very quickly he received a package in the mail with a photo of his family- it was a warning from mafia organizations. When you try to go up from roots of the problem you end up finding the Mafia. People enslaved to drugs are killed and also those who try and free people from this slavery are killed.

“Wide ranging social programs need to be integrated – especially education which is essential. Give people tools to discern reality and direct to the most vulnerable and families and those who suffer from marginalization. However the problem of prevention as a program has always been hindered by thousands of factors like incapabilities of government.

“Although prevention is the most important work, we must fully work to see rehabilitation and see people’s dignity restored. The most needy of our brothers and sisters carry with them a treasure of God which speaks to us and encourages us to move ahead.

“Combatting this is difficult and if you face up to these problems you run risk of things happening to you like what happened to the judge. But we are defending the human family, the young the children, and our future. Not something just looking at the present.”

Pope Francis spoke these words in small group sessions at the World Narcotics Summit held on November 24, in the Vatican.  Thank you, Kevin Sabet, for sharing his words.

Our contention is that education and prevention are most important.  It seems to be the view of Pope Francis.  We also agree that people who abuse drugs need healing and love for the wounds they carry.

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