Pope Francis challenges elite class in Mexico

February 14, 2016 5:10 pm

greets a child before Mass. Photo / APPope Francis delivered a tough-love message to ’s ruling classes on his first full day in the country.
The Pontiff challenged Mexico’s political and ecclesial elites to provide their people with security, justice and courageous pastoral care to confront the drug-inspired violence and corruption wracking the country.
The raucous welcome Francis received from cheering Mexicans who lined his motorcade route seven-deep contrasted sharply with his pointed criticism of how church and state leaders in Mexico have often failed their people, especially the poorest and most marginalised.
“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,” he told government authorities at the presidential palace.

Francis challenged church leaders known for their deference to Mexico’s wealthy and powerful to courageously denounce the “insidious threat” posed by the drug trade and not hide behind their own privilege and careers.
He told them to be true pastors, close to their people, and to develop a coherent plan to help Mexicans “finally escape the raging waters that drown so many, either victims of the drug trade or those who stand before God with their hands drenched in blood, though with pockets filled with sordid money and their consciences deadened”.
Francis’ entire five-day trip to Mexico is shining an uncomfortable spotlight on the church’s shortcomings and the Government’s failure to solve entrenched social ills that plague many parts of the country – poverty, rampant drug-inspired gangland murder, extortion, disappearances of women, crooked cops and failed public services.
Francis will travel to the crime-ridden Mexico City suburb of Ecatepec, preach to Indians in poverty-stricken Chiapas, offer solidarity to victims of drug violence in Morelia and, finally, pay respects to migrants who have died trying to reach the United States with a cross-border Mass in Ciudad Juarez.

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