Sunday Sermon, September 4.
The second reading from the Letter of St Paul to Philemon discusses the relation of slavery to the Christian religion. A simple historical fact: Wherever Christianity has spread, slavery has been eradicated - because slavery is incompatible with the Gospel and the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Where Islam has spread, slavery has increased. Mohammedans had taken some 1.25 million European Christians into slavery from the mid-1500's to the mid-1700's. An additional 2.5 million eastern Europeans were sold into Islamic slavery by the Tartars.
To give perspective: From the mid-1600's to the mid-1800's, about 300,000 Africans were taken as slaves for the United States -- an horrific event, but much less in terms of the sheer numbers than Christians enslaved by the Muslim world.
Additionally, studies show that perhaps over 100 million Africans were taken into slavery by the Mohammedans over a period of about 8 centuries.
Can anyone really believe that the Crusades were unjustified?
The inspiring story of St Raymond Nonnatus, who gave himself over to enslavement to "purchase" the freedom of a number of Christian slaves in Algiers.
Listen online [here]!