Injustices against God’s plan
· In Mexico the Pope denounces corruption, exploitation, drug trafficking and violence, and before praying to Our Lady of Guadalupe he calls for prophetic courage from bishops ·
Corruption, exploitation, violence and the drug trade “stand in direct opposition to the dream and the plan of God”. The Pope raised his voice in heavy reproach during the first days of his visit to Mexico, where he arrived on Friday, 12 February, following his historic visit with Patriarch Kirill in Havana.
Beginning with his first public meeting on Saturday morning at the National Palace, the Pontiff has praised the country’s cultural and natural richness, while invoking a series of reflections on each person’s responsibility in building a society open and supportive to all. “A hope-filled future”, he said in a speech to the President and national authorities, “is forged in a present made up of men and women who are upright, honest, and capable of working for the common good”. Thus, by no coincidence, “experience teaches us that each time we seek the path of privileges or benefits for a few to the detriment of the good of all, sooner or later the life of society becomes a fertile soil for corruption, drug trade, exclusion of different cultures, violence and also human trafficking, kidnapping and death, bringing suffering and slowing down development”.
The Holy Father returned to these topics in the subsequent meeting with the Mexican episcopate and in the Mass the following day on the First Sunday of Lent, celebrated in Ecatepec, a heavily populated suburb on the outskirts of Mexico City. In a speech to the bishops, who had gathered in the cathedral of capital city, the Pontiff exhorted them to face the challenge of migration and to oppose the “metastasis” of the drug trade, which “devours” society: “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”. This appeal was renewed during Sunday’s Eucharist with families and committed lay people, when in his homily he reminded those present not to close their eyes to injustice. In an evening visit to a paediatric hospital in Mexico City, he recalled that affection is as important as medicine in treating children, that sometimes a caress is all it takes to help them to feel better.
The crowning moment of Francis’ first days in Mexico no doubt came on Saturday evening as he prayed in the Shrine of Guadalupe. At the feet of the beloved Virgin, venerated throughout the country and Patroness of the continent, the Latin American Pope devoted ample time in silent reflection, to entrust to her the fruits of this pastoral journey.
St. Peter’s Square
March 21, 2018
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