Most Reverend Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv DD STL, Bishop of Parramatta
Modern Slavery Statement 2021
8 February 2021
“There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Our Catholic faith teaches that we are all made in the image and likeness of God.
Indeed, Catholic Social Teaching proclaims that our dignity, that is, the inherent value of each person is based on this truth and our worth comes from God.
We treat life as precious and with sanctity from conception until natural death as divine grace is within us all.
Modern slavery is an attack on this God-given dignity and grace.
Indeed, the scourge of slavery is directly opposite to the love of God.
Though the types of modern-day slavery may differ from that of Roman times, all slavery is itself the exploitation of the weak and vulnerable. It is the power of the strong over the weak.
These days, modern day slavery includes child marriage, unpaid wages, withheld wages, physical violence, and migrant worker exploitation.
As the Catholic Church in Australia is the largest non-government producers of goods and services we have an important and unavoidable role to play in the eradication of modern slavery in Australia.
I commend and fully support this report for the work it does in attempting to confront and eliminate slavery.
As the Bishop of Parramatta, I am committed to ensuring all our agencies and ministries support this statement and ensure voluntary disclosure statements are produced.
As the Catholic Church in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains, the Diocese of Parramatta is absolutely committed to ensuring that we work with government and other organisations to work towards the dismantling of modern slavery, and that our supply chains respect the dignity and value of each person.
We will work towards foster pathways across the political and religious divide to build not only a rich and strong Australia but also an inclusive and humane society and a responsible global citizen.
Pope Francis has declared the feast of St Josephine Bakhita on February 8 the International Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action against Human Trafficking.
Let us mark this day by joining the world community in prayer and by committing to do something in our own life to end slavery.
Most Rev Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv
Bishop of Parramatta