Pope Francis in Mexico
“There is no dialogue with the Devil,” Pope Francis said in one of his most talked about quotes during his visit to Mexico.
During the weekend, the Pope celebrated Mass, participated in official events, visited sites, and prayed before an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the “patron saint of Mexico.”
One of the most direct messages was during the visit to the National Palace, where to President Enrique Peña Nieto Francis defined what could be the great challenge of the Catholic Church in the second largest Catholic country in the world.
“Every time we seek the path of privilege or benefit of a few to the detriment of the good of all, sooner or later, life in society becomes fertile ground for corruption, drug trafficking, exclusion of different cultures, violence including human trafficking, kidnapping and death, causing suffering and slowing development,” the pontiff said.
Another special moment and one that has generated debate was in a Mass celebrated in the cathedral of Mexico, where Francis gave a tough message to the bishops.
“I beg you not to fall into the suspension to give old answers to new demands. Woe to you if you rest on your laurels!” Francis said.
And again, as he did in the National Palace, the pope did not avoid the issue of drug trafficking:
“I will ask no less than for you to assess the ethical challenge that drug trafficking poses to the youth and the entire Mexican society. Do not be corrupt. Do not put your trust in chariots and horses of today’s Pharaohs,” he urged.
Pope Francis addressed a deep internal conflict in the Mexican church – led by an old friend, Archbishop Norberto Rivera –in the middle of his speech to the 15 million indigenous people who inhabit the country.
“Mexico needs its Amerindian roots to not remain an unsolved enigma,” he said, adding, “The Indians are still waiting for Mexico to effectively recognize the richness of their contributions and the fruitfulness of their presence, to inherit that identity that becomes a single nation, not just one among others.” The Virgin of Guadalupe
“We are going through a time of great violence, right now there are many assaults and there have been many dead,” said Maria Dolores Angeles Martinez, a housewife of 26 who led a group dressed in T-shirts that were welcoming the Pope.
“To me it I would like very much for him to bless us, to give us strength to continue and endure everything, (...) so that people have courage to keep fighting it,” she added.
Thousands attended the Mass celebrated on Saturday at the Basilica of Guadalupe.
Pope Francis kept his “deepest desire” to pray before the statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of the country and all Latin America, and to whom he said he feels a great devotion.
Francis celebrated Mass in the Basilica of Guadalupe in front of nearly 35,000 people, 5,000 of them inside the church and the rest who could follow the Mass thanks to giant screens that were installed in the square.
The most intense moment of the ceremony was when the Pope shut himself in for 20 minutes alone in the so-called “dressing room” of the Mexican basilica, the small vaulted room where the image of the “Brown Madonna” embodied in the blanket (tilma) of San Juan Diego, the Indian to whom, the story goes, the Virgin appeared. (BBC)