· Before leaving Kenya, Pope Francis visits Kangemi slum and emphasizes that each human being is more important than the god of money ·
There are “values which are not quoted in the stock exchange, are not subject to speculation, and have no market price”. These were the words of Pope Francis during his visit to a Kangemi slum, one of the seven slums of Nairobi, on Friday, 27 November.
The Pope spent an hour and a half among the poor and underprivileged of Kenya’s capital, sharing with the 1,200 people, who filled the local parish of St. Joseph the Worker, that he felt very much “at home”. He left Kenya in the late morning, after meeting with the youth and with bishops, to begin his journey to Uganda, the second stop of his visit to the African continent.
In his address the Pope paid tribute to the “culture of poor neighbourhoods” — where “values grounded in the fact” that “each human being is more important than the god of money” remain firm — and he strongly denounced “the dreadful injustice of urban exclusion” whose wounds are caused “by minorities who cling to power and wealth, who selfishly squander while a growing majority is forced to flee to abandoned, filthy and run-down peripheries”. Hence he made an appeal to guarantee everyone an urban and social environment on a human scale, where “basic services are provided” for each person and where each family has “dignified housing, access to drinking water, a toilet, reliable sources of energy for lighting, cooking and improving their homes”.
Pope Francis emphasized the need to guarantee “everyone, especially those living in outlying neighbourhoods, the basic rights to dignified living conditions and to land, lodging and labour”, during his visit to the UN Office in Nairobi (UNON), which took place on Thursday afternoon, 26 November, after having greeted Kenyan priests, religious and seminarians at St. Mary’s School. Before delegates, accredited diplomats and staff members who were gathered in the conference room, Pope Francis expressed his concern regarding the environmental emergency, warning the leading figures of COP21 — whose next summit on climate change will open in Paris on Sunday — of the temptation to impose “particular interests” over the “common good” and of “manipulating information in order to protect their own plans”. Pope Francis expressed hope that “COP21 will achieve a global and ‘transformational’ agreement based on the principles of solidarity, justice, equality and participation”. An agreement that aims to achieve three interdependent objectives: “lessening the impact of climate change, fighting poverty and ensuring respect for human dignity”.
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