Pope Francis to Peruvian officials: How harmful corruption is to our Latin American people

Pope Francis to Peruvian officials: How harmful corruption is to our Latin American people

Published on Jan 19, 2018

Pope’s Address to Peruvian Authorities, Diplomatic Corps

‘ The degradation of the environment, sad to say, cannot be separated from the moral degradation of our communities.’

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Below is the Vatican provided text of Pope Francis’ address to Peruvian authorities and the diplomatic corps January 19, 2018, in Lima, Peru:

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Mr President,
Members of the Government and the Diplomatic Corps,
Distinguished Authorities,
Representatives of Civil Society,
Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends,

As I arrive at this historic edifice, I thank God for this opportunity to be on Peruvian soil. I would like my words to be a message of greeting and esteem for each of the sons and daughters of this people, that down the years has preserved and enriched the wisdom handed down by its forebears and represents, indeed, one of its greatest legacies.
I thank Mr. Pedro Pablo Kuczynsky, President of the Nation, for his invitation to visit the country and for his words of welcome offered on your behalf.

My visit to Peru has as its theme: “United by Hope”. If I may say so, seeing this land is itself a reason for hope. Part of your territory includes the Amazon, which I visited this morning. It is overall the largest tropical forest and the most extensive river system on the planet. This “lung”, as it has been called, is one of the world’s regions of great biodiversity, as it is home to a vast variety of species.

Yours too is a wealth and variety of cultures, which increasingly intermingle and which make up the soul of this people. It is a soul characterized by ancestral values such as hospitality, esteem for others, respect and gratitude for mother earth and creativity for new initiatives. It is marked likewise by a shared sense of responsibility for the development of all, joined to a solidarity that has often shown itself in your response to different disasters you have experienced.

In this regard, I would like to point to the young. They are the most vital gift that this society possesses. With their dynamism and enthusiasm, they promise, and encourage us to dream of, a hope-filled future, born of the encounter between your lofty ancestral wisdom and the new eyes that youth offers. I also take pleasure in a historical fact: that hope in this land has the face of holiness. Peru has given birth to saints that blazed paths of faith for the entire American continent. To name just one, Martin de Porres, a son of two cultures, showed the strength and richness that comes about when people focus on love. I could continue at length with this list of reasons, material and spiritual, for hope. Peru is a land of hope that invites and challenges its people to unity. This people has the duty to maintain unity, among other things, precisely to defend all these reasons for hope.

Yet over this hope, a shadow is growing, a threat looms. “Never has humanity had such power over itself, yet nothing ensures that it will be used wisely, particularly when we consider how it is currently being used” (Laudato Si’, 104). This is evident in the way that we are stripping the earth of its natural resources, without which no forms of life are possible. The loss of jungles and forests means not only the loss of species, which could also be extremely important resources for the future but also the loss of vital relationships that could end up altering the entire ecosystem (cf. ibid., 32).

In this context, being “united in defense of hope” means promoting and developing an integral ecology as an alternative to “an outdated model of development [that] continues to produce human, societal and environmental decline” (Urbi et Orbi Message, Christmas 2017). This calls for listening to local persons and peoples, recognizing and respecting them as valid dialogue partners. They preserve a direct link to the land, they know its times and ways, and so they know the catastrophic effects produced, in the name of development, by many projects. The vital fabric that constitutes the nation is thus being altered. The degradation of the environment, sad to say, cannot be separated from the moral degradation of our communities. We cannot think of these as two separate realities.

For example, black market mining has become a danger that is destroying people’s lives; forests and rivers are being destroyed, with all the richness they possess. This whole process of degradation brings with it and encourages organizations operating outside of legal structures; these debase so many of our brothers and sisters by subjecting them to human trafficking (a new form of slavery), irregular employment and crime… and to other evils that gravely affect their dignity and, at the same time, the dignity of the nation. Working together to defend hope demands that we remain very attentive to that other, often subtle form of environmental degradation that increasingly contaminates the whole system of life: corruption. How much evil is done to our Latin American people and the democracies of this continent by this social “virus”, a phenomenon that infects everything, with the greatest harm being done to the poor and mother earth. Everything being done to combat this social scourge deserves our utmost attention and help… This is a battle that involves all of us. Being “united in defense of hope” requires a greater culture of transparency among public entities, the private sector and civil society. No one can be excluded from this process. Corruption is preventable and calls for commitment on the part of all.

I encourage and urge all those in positions of authority, in whatever sphere, to insist on this path in order to bring your people and your land the security born of feeling that Peru is a place of hope and opportunity for all, and not just for a few. In this way, all Peruvians can feel that this country is theirs, that here they can relate fraternally and equitably with their neighbors, and help others in their need. A land where they can realize their own future. And in this way to forge a Peru that makes room for people of “all bloods” (José María Arguedas, Todas las sangres, Buenos Aires, 1964), a land in which the “the promise of Peruvian life” (Jorge Basadre, La promesa de lavida peruana, Lima, 1958) can be achieved.

I wish to renew in your presence the commitment of the Catholic Church, which has accompanied the life of this nation, in this joint effort to continue working so that Peru will continue to be a land of hope. May Saint Rosa of Lima intercede for each of you and for this blessed nation.

Thank you once again.

Read the source: https://zenit.org/articles/popes-address-to-peruvian-authorities-diplomatic-corps/

[00065-EN.01] [Original text: Spanish]

Look to the Young, Pope Tells Peru’s Leaders

Peru is a land of hope that invites and challenges its people to unity.

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Pope Francis urged the leaders of Peru to look to the nation’s youth in building the future, while he also warned against corruption and destruction of the environment.

His admonitions came January 19, 2019, in an address to Peruvian authorities and the diplomatic corps. The talk came after a day in which the Holy Father met with indigenous people of the Amazon region and young people in a home for the abandoned.

In speaking to the leaders, Francis stressed the “wealth and variety of cultures” that Peru enjoys.  These make up the “soul of this people” and is characterized by the values of  “hospitality, esteem for others, respect and gratitude for mother earth and creativity for new initiatives.”

‘In this regard, I would like to point to the young,” the Pope explained. ‘They are the most vital gift that this society possesses. With their dynamism and enthusiasm, they promise, and encourage us to dream of, a hope-filled future, born of the encounter between your lofty ancestral wisdom and the new eyes that youth offers.”

However, the Holy Father warned of the dangers of environmental destruction, in particular, the rain forests of the Amazone.  Referring to Laudato Si’, he reminded Peru’s leaders that, “The loss of jungles and forests means not only the loss of species, which could also be extremely important resources for the future but also the loss of vital relationships that could end up altering the entire ecosystem.”

Citing the example of black market mining, the Pope said such practices not only damage the environment but lead to other problems: human trafficking, irregular employment, crime, loss of dignity and corruption.  He urged leaders to do everything possible “to combat this social scourge.”

“Being “united in defense of hope” requires a greater culture of transparency among public entities, the private sector, and civil society,” Francis continued. “No one can be excluded from this process. Corruption is preventable and calls for commitment on the part of all.”

Pope Francis concluded: “I encourage and urge all those in positions of authority, in whatever sphere, to insist on this path in order to bring your people and your land the security born of feeling that Peru is a place of hope and opportunity for all, and not just for a few.”

Get an Education, Pope Tells Youth at Home for Abandoned Children

‘The world needs you, young men and women of the first peoples, and it needs you as you are.’

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Pope Francis had simple — but profound — messages for young people on January 19, 2018, when he visited Hogar El Principito (“the Home of the Little Prince”), a home for young and abandoned children.

“I would like to encourage you to study,” he said. “Get an education, take advantage of the opportunities you have for schooling. The world needs you, young men and women of the first peoples, and it needs you as you are.”

The Pope spoke before the boys and girls and several hundred people who support the home.  The children provided music, testimonials and a re-enactment of key points in the region’s history.

“Do not be content to be the last car on the train of society, letting yourselves be pulled along and eventually disconnected,” the Holy Father stressed. “We need you to be the engine, always pressing forward.”

He also encouraged the youth to listen to their elders and value their traditions.  “Do not curb your curiosity. Get in touch with your roots, but at the same time open your eyes to new things; bring the old and the new together in your own way.”

The Pope said it was important for the youth to be “who you really are” because “we need you to be authentic, young men and women who are proud to belong to the Amazonian peoples and who can offer humanity an alternative for a true life.”

Taking note that some of the young people come from native communities, Francis decried the destruction of woodlands they had witnessed.  He recalled that their elders had found food and medicine in those places, but now “those woodlands have been laid waste by the intoxication of a misguided notion of progress.”

He continued: “The rivers that hosted your games and provided you with food are now muddied, contaminated, dead. Young people, do not be resigned to what is happening! Do not renounce the legacy you have received from your elders, or your lives and dreams.”

“The young of the first people” can play an important role in the future by teaching the rest of society “a way of life based on protection and care, not on the destruction of everything that stands in the way of our greed,” according to the Pope.