The event of the Via Crucis for crucified women, on the Friday that precedes the Holy Friday, with the girls freed from the chains of the slavery of prostitution, is a hymn to life, a hymn to the Resurrection, a hymn to the words of Jesus: “I will give you a new life”. Means “I shall give you a new family”, the family of the Church, of the new humanity that walks on the paths of justice, of truth, of forgiveness and reconciliation.
When Pope Francis, on the 12 August last year, came to visit the twenty girls hosted in the house of the Comunità Papa Giovanni in Rome, after having listened to their stories, having heard their testimonies and their pain, having seen the faces of these girls with their children, he told us for three times “continue, continue, continue“. That is what we are doing from 30 years from when our founder, Don Oreste Benzi, moved by the Holy Spirit, had the intuition to go where the poor that will never come to look for us stay.
And he went in the suburbs, to bring the Church outside the sacristies, to meet the most important, the most valuable sheep. The Community from 30 years continues this work with so many volunteers who descend every week on the streets, meet girls, risk even a little of their life but thanks to them more than 7000 girls were released.
It is interesting to discover that there is also a movement of the whole Church on this drama. In recent weeks, together with the Patriarch of Venice and the bishops of Verona, Vicenza and Rovigo, we have marched in Verona and then the prelates have signed on the altar of the cathedral of San Zeno the petition against trafficking “This is my body” for the liberation of these girls. Many other bishops have mobilised: in Piacenza, Rimini, Massa Carrara, Turin … there is an incredible movement of the Church, an increasingly widespread awareness. A movement that is spreading even on a civil level: many mayors are issuing orders aimed at fining the clients because it is the demand that feeds the offer. They are the first accomplices of the racket and we want, as it has been done in the Nordic countries, arrive to a law which provides for the liability of the clients because we are convinced that this is the big way, the main road to stop this scourge.
But it is also the path of conversion to which we are all called in this Easter: to recognize and respect the dignity of these girls, of these baby girls who are first of all the daughters of God but are also women capable of love, of being mothers of a family, of being good workers, of giving a positive contribution to society. This evening we will march to defeat the most ancient shame in the world that is the trafficking of girls and to break their chains. We will be there to say that Jesus came and is risen and he is the God who still today on the streets calls for the liberation of these women and for the liberation from the sin committed by the customers.