Juarez, Mexico, Feb 17, 2016 / 11:45 am
Update: 3:00 pm EST - Read the full text of Pope Francis' prepared remarks for his Feb. 17 meeting with the world of labour at the Bachilleres College in the state of Chihuahua.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I wanted to meet with you here in this land of Juárez, because of the special relationship this city has with the world of labour. I am grateful not only for your words of welcome and for your testimonies, which reveal the anxieties, joys and hopes of your lives, but also for this opportunity to share and reflect together. Anything we can do to foster dialogue, encounter, and the search for better alternatives and opportunities is already an accomplishment to be valued and highlighted. Obviously more needs to be done, and today we do not have the luxury of missing any chance to encounter, discuss, confront or search. This is the only way we will be able to build for tomorrow, to create sustainable relationships capable of providing the needed framework that, little by little, will rebuild the social bonds so damaged by a lack of communication and by a lack of the minimal respect necessary for a healthy coexistence. So I thank you, and I hope that this occasion may serve to build the future. May it be a good opportunity to forge the Mexico that its people and children deserve.
I would like to dwell on this latter point. Here today there are various workers' organizations and representatives of Commerce Chambers and business associations. At first sight they could be considered as adversaries, but they are united by the same responsibility: seeking to create employment opportunities which are dignified and truly beneficial for society and especially for the young of this land. One of the greatest scourges for young people is the lack of opportunities for study and for sustainable and profitable work, which would permit them to work for the future. In many cases, this lack of opportunity leads to situations of poverty. This poverty then becomes the best breeding ground for the young to fall into the cycle of drug trafficking and violence. It is a luxury which no one can afford; we cannot allow the present and future of Mexico to be alone and abandoned.