By Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis often speaks against “the scourge of drug trafficking” and its effects. Here are some examples:
“The scourge of drug-trafficking, which favors violence and sows the seeds of suffering and death, requires of society as a whole an act of courage. A reduction in the spread and influence of drug addiction will not be achieved by a liberalization of drug use, as is currently being proposed in various parts of Latin America. Rather, it is necessary to confront the problems underlying the use of these drugs, by promoting greater justice, educating young people in the values that build up life in society, accompanying those in difficulty and giving them hope for the future. We all need to look upon one another with the loving eyes of Christ, and to learn to embrace those in need, in order to show our closeness, affection and love.” — Visit to St. Francis of Assisi of the Providence of God Hospital, Rio de Janeiro, July 24, 2013
“On the cross, Jesus is united to the many mothers and fathers who suffer as they see their children become victims of drug-induced euphoria.” — Way of the Cross with young people, Rio de Janeiro, July 26, 2013
“Let me state this in the clearest terms possible: The problem of drug use is not solved with drugs. Drug addiction is an evil, and with evil there can be no yielding or compromise. To think that harm can be reduced by permitting drug addicts to use narcotics in no way resolves the problem. Attempts, however limited, to legalize so-called ‘recreational drugs,’ are not only highly questionable from a legislative standpoint, but they fail to produce the desired effects. Substitute drugs are not an adequate therapy but rather a veiled means of surrendering to the phenomenon. Here I would reaffirm what I have stated on another occasion: No to every type of drug use. It is as simple as that. No to any kind of drug use.” — Address to 31st International Drug Enforcement Conference in Rome, June 19, 2014
“Another kind of war experienced by many of our societies as a result of the narcotics trade, a war which is taken for granted and poorly fought. Drug trafficking is, by its very nature, accompanied by trafficking in persons, money laundering, the arms trade, child exploitation and other forms of corruption. A corruption which has penetrated to different levels of social, political, military, artistic and religious life, and, in many cases, has given rise to a parallel structure which threatens the credibility of our institutions.” — Address to the U.N. General Assembly, Sept. 25, 2015
“I urge you not to underestimate the moral and antisocial challenge which the drug trade represents for the youth and for Mexican society as a whole, as well as for the church. … Only by starting with families, by drawing close and embracing the fringes of human existence in the ravaged areas of our cities and by seeking the involvement of parish communities, schools, community institutions, political communities and institutions responsible for security, will people finally escape the raging waters that drown so many, either victims of the drug trade or those who stand before God with their hands drenched in blood, though with pockets filled with sordid money and their consciences deadened.” — Meeting with Mexican bishops, Mexico City, Feb. 13, 2016
“I understand that often it is difficult to feel your value when you are continually exposed to the loss of friends or relatives at the hands of the drug trade, of drugs themselves, of criminal organizations that sow terror.” — Meeting with young people, Morelia, Mexico, Feb. 16, 2016
“Injustice is radicalized in the young; they are ‘cannon fodder,’ persecuted and threatened when they try to flee the spiral of violence and the hell of drugs.” — Homily, Ciudad Juarez fairgrounds, Feb. 17, 2016.
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Quotes were compiled by Gabby Maniscalco.