Pope Francis called for protecting the dignity of substance abusers and condemned the corruption and incompetence that trap so many innocent people in the snares of addiction.
The “vast, powerful networks” behind the drug trade kill not only those who become slaves to drugs, he said, they also kill those “who want to destroy this slavery” – such as judges or others who seek to stamp out criminal organisations.
The pope spoke to dozens of experts in medicine, science, the judicial system, government and social policy and pastoral care, who attended a special study session at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on 24th November. Those gathered from 23rd to 24th November discussed solutions to drug use and abuse, and the most effective forms of prevention.
The pope underlined the inherent dignity of all people who struggle with substance abuse, and asked that they be listened to and treated appropriately, not looked at as if they were some kind of “object or broken device.”
Picture: Pope Francis is flanked by Queen Silvia of Sweden as he poses with attendees at a conference organised by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences at the Vatican on 24th November. The pope called for protecting the dignity of substance abusers and also condemned the “vast, powerful networks” behind the drug trade. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano, handout).