Pope Delivers Tough-Love Message in Mexico

Pope Delivers Tough-Love Message in MexicoPope Delivers Tough-Love Message in Mexico

Pope Francis was greeted by thousands of supporters upon his arrival in Mexico. The pontiff delivered a tough-love message to President Enrique Pena Nieto and his government, saying people have a right to security and justice.

Thousands of Catholics gathered in the historic Zocalo Square on Saturday to welcome the Argentine pontiff as he waved from his popemobile.

Many Mexicans hoped that Pope Francis’ visit would put pressure on President Nieto to remedy the issues plaguing Mexico’s society, including drug-inspired violence and corruption, Deutsche Welle reported.

Following a private meeting with Pena on Saturday, Francis gave a hard-hitting speech at the National Palace, where he addressed the president and other government authorities.

The pontiff said Mexico’s political leaders have a duty to provide their people with security, “true justice” and basic services, and warned them against being seduced by privilege.

“Adequate housing, dignified employment, food, true justice, effective security, a healthy and peaceful environment” are all part of a politicians’ responsibility, Francis said.

Speaking at Mexico City’s cathedral later on Saturday, Francis urged Mexican bishops to take on drug trafficking with “prophetic courage,” warning that it represents a moral challenge to Mexican society as a whole, and not just the Church.

The Pope’s arrival in Mexico comes a day after his historic meeting with the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. It is the first time the leaders of the two churches have met in the nearly 1,000 years since a theological schism led to a split in the church.