Pope Francis Criticizes Corruption and Narcos
On Saturday, February 13, 2016, Pope Francis called on Mexico’s government on Saturday to fight endemic corruption and drug trafficking. As the front page headline of El Universal’s Sunday newspaper said, “Pope Criticizes Corruption and Narcos.”
“Experience teaches us that each time we seek the path of privilege 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, the drug trade, the exclusion of different cultures, violence and also human trafficking, kidnapping and death,” Pope Francis said in a speech to President Enrique Pena Nieto, government ministers and foreign diplomats.
The speech startled some who did not expect the Pope to speak so frankly to the President and his Cabinet against corruption. Pope Francis also cautioned the youth of Mexico about the corrosive power of drug trafficking.
Pope called on Mexico’s Bishops to take Active Stand Against the DrugTrade
On this trip, the Pope has traveled extensively to a children’s hospital and to big sports stadium in the state of Chiapas. Besides invoking Mexico’s history, its spiritual heritage, the plight of the poor and inequities of power and greed, Pope Francis addressed the Bishops of Mexico:
“I urge you not to underestimate the moral and antisocial challenge which the drug trade represents for Mexican society as a whole, as well as for the Church.
“The magnitude of this phenomenon, the complexity of its causes, its immensity and its scope which devours like a metastasis, and the gravity of the violence which divides with its distorted expressions, do not allow us as Pastors of the Church to hide behind anodyne denunciations.” (For full text of the pope’s speech, read here)
It is estimated that 100,000 people have died from the drug trade in Mexico over the last decade. The marijuana lobby likes to say violence is caused by the United States and its War on Drugs, rather than acknowledging how the drug trade causes violence.