These are some of the highlights for me from the Pope’s speech in Mexico’s National Palace after listening to the welcoming speech by President Peña Nieto. In his style he was very friendly, genuine, but he didn’t shy away of speaking of some difficult places where the common good is not being served in Mexico. He did so in such a graceful way that he left everyone feeling like: we’re in this together, and our goals and the goals of the Church do intersect. He could have been a lot tougher, but friendly without shying away from difficult topics seems to be what he was going for. Note that with his opening words he sets up his more secular purpose: to be a missionary of mercy and peace, but also an explicitly religious one: to pay homage to our lady of Guadalupe. He:
- Thanked Peña Nieto, and the State representatives for welcoming him.
- “I come as a missionary of mercy and peace -but also as a son who wants to pay homage to the Virgin of Guadalupe, and allow himself to be seen by her.”
- Affirmed Mexico for:
- Its biodiversity, cultural diversity in indigenous cultures, and their wisdom.
- Its youth, one of its greatest richness, more than half of the population. This brings great hope for the future, he said.
- Called to awareness of everyone’s responsibility in constructing the Mexico we want for coming generations.
- He said that the pursuit of the Common Good “In the 21st century is not in such great demand.”
- “The Privilege of the few prepares 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.”
- To all cultural and political leaders he said: Give people the opportunity to be authors of their own destiny. Access to basic human needs: “real justice,” “effective security.” These are not only policies, but urgent formation in personal responsibility, and it involves all Mexicans in different spheres, public or private, collective or individual.
- He assured the president that the government of Mexico can count on the cooperation of the Catholic Church in its willingness to “serve the great causes of humankind: the building a civilization of love.”
If you want the transcript you can find it here.
If you want the video you can find it here.