Slavery

President Santos and Timochenko at the signing of the peace treaty in Colombia (Xinhau/Jhon Paz)
This Sunday (2 October), the people of Colombia are due to ratify the peace treaty that brings to an end a civil war that has lasted for more than half a century. The treaty was signed on Monday, the eve of the Feast of St Peter Claver SJ (1581-1654), the Jesuit who rescued thousands of Africans from slavery in the 17th century and who is commemorated in the church that bears his name in Cartagena de Indias.The signatories at Cartagena on 26 September were the leader of the FARC (the...
Georgetown University, Washington DC, Wikipedia Commons
Georgetown University in Washington DC has announced that it will issue a public apology for the Jesuits’ participation in the slave trade and enact a series of reforms. A working group was appointed last year by the university’s president, John DeGioia, and its recommendations were made public this week. They include a formal apology by way of a “Mass of Reconciliation” and the renaming of two campus buildings that previously honoured Jesuits who participated in the...
The Jesuits in Britain are supporting the victims of human trafficking by donating funds raised at Christmas and Easter. The collections at Farm Street Church will go towards the appeal to support victims of Human Trafficking, the Bakhita House Project, and the work of other charities, including the Jesuit Refugee Service, to support victims and to help with the prevention of this form of modern slavery. The parish’s decision comes in response to a request by Cardinal Vincent Nichols over...
The Tower of Babel is one of the great stories in Genesis.  The confusion of different languages, the inability to communicate which so often leads to frustration and violence, paints a powerful picture of dissonance that we are painfully familiar with.   How reaching for the heavens and thus leaving the humility of the earth, driven by pride and arrogance, just divides us into factions.  It is that division that we are asked to reflect on during Racial Justice Sunday....
A Spanish Jesuit missionary priest who devoted his apostolic life ministering to African slaves in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia), one of the ports in South America used for slave trading. The slaves were hunted as an animal, mostly in Congo and Angola, and then sold or bartered for goods. After crossing the Atlantic from West Africa under conditions so foul that an estimated one-third died in transit, they were marketed in Cartagena to work in the gold and silver mines.Peter Claver was deeply...