Pope Fran­cis in Mex­ico

La Semana - - FRONT PAGE / PORTADA -

“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)

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