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Pope Francis: Literature and art must not exploit slave labor

August 13, 2021

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CWN Editor's Note: Maurizio Maggiani, an Italian journalist and novelist, wrote an open letter in Il Secolo XIX (a newspaper based in Genoa) after discovering that Pakistanis laboring in slave-like conditions were involved in the printing of one of his novels. He asked, “Is it worth producing beauty thanks to the work of slaves?”

After reading Maggiani’s words, Pope Francis wrote a letter to Il Secolo XIX. “I was struck by your words,” the Pope wrote. “Yours is no idle question, because what is at stake is human dignity, a dignity which is today too often and easily trampled upon through ‘slave labor’ and the silent complicity of many people.”

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