Feb 25, 2016
As in millions of homes across the United States, the TV in our family room had been on and tuned into Univision since the Pope arrived in Mexico. We crowded on the sofa to watch his last mass in Ciudad Juarez-a city drenched in the misery caused by drug trafficking, corruption and exploitation.
His passionate solidarity with the poor and suffering has never been so palpable. On this trip he has spurned the elegant, European-style avenues of Mexico's great cities and headed to the troubled outskirts, the peripheries steeped in violence and grown used to sudden death and disappearance. His homilies and speeches this week have been one long cry from an anxious heart. From the mass at the border: "No more death! No more exploitation! There is still time to change, there is still a way out and a chance, time to implore the mercy of God."
What a breath of hope to the people of Mexico, and by extension, those of the many millions who live in societies dominated by disregard for human dignity and indifference to suffering.
What needs to change in Mexico? Pope Francis was very clear: The pervasive corruption that asphyxiates every honest impulse and creates a society which uses people and discards them. It's a reality which seems to have become a permanent system. But he has enjoined everyone in his audiences to refuse the temptation to be resigned to the status quo.