HAVANA.- Charismatic, spontaneous and simple: the Pope Francis during his recent visit to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay gave a many messages to the world which were loaded with life and human dignity, aiming to achieve unity of the people in order for peace to reign.
Beyond the symbolism that his figure represents, the Pope, who came from the south spoke of himself as “he who knows the reality of the continent very well”- and he experienced intensive days during his tour beginning on Ecuadorian soil where he brought together thousands of members of the congregation.
During his visit he said to the Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa that he will always be able to count on the commitment of the church to serve the Ecuadorian people, who have stood up with dignity in moments when opposing groups have been involved in marches against the politics of the country’s government.
In Ecuador he spoke of the social importance of family and he could not help but refer repeatedly to the deep social and cultural changes that the continent is experiencing.
The hope for a better future offers real opportunities to citizens, especially to young people, creating jobs, with economic growth that reaches all affirmed the Pope of the poor- as they call him.
There are many anecdotes of his visit to Ecuador, possibly one the most moving being that of the little girl who slipped past security and ran to give him a hug. The Pope reciprocated the gesture with a kiss.
In Bolivia where he stayed for less than 48 hours, His Holiness participated in a world meeting of Social and Popular Movements, where he asked to say no to an economy of exclusion because human beings and nature he said should not be at the service of the money.
As he did throughout the whole of his tour, he called upon the unity of the people, who he noted should be creators of their own destiny, without tutoring or interference, where the strongest dominates the weakest.
We must change our vision in regards to the poorest people, put aside individualism, look after the Earth and respect the rights of the more vulnerable sectors of the world, he said.
An emotional moment occurred when he asked for forgiveness in the name of the Lord for the crimes committed by the church against the natives of Latin America.
“I humbly ask for forgiveness, not only for the offences of the Church itself, but for the crimes against the native towns during the poorly named ‘Conquest of the Americas’. I would also like us to remember the thousands of priests and bishops who strongly turned against the logic of the sword with the strength of the cross” he expressed.
Another one of the many messages that Francis gave the world from South America was the importance of dialogue in avoiding conflicts between neighbouring towns. Today, a frank and open dialogue about our problems is indispensable, he maintained.
He made particular reference to the maritime referendum between Bolivia and Chile. We must build bridges instead of walls, noted the Christian Vicar who warned that all matters, no matter how thorny they may seem have shared solutions.
In Paraguay, where the tour ended, Francis defended the women of the country who he called the most glorious of the Americas.
I would like to recognize and admire with emotion the role played by the Paraguayan women in these dramatic moments of history, emphasized Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who also urged society and the authorities to fight against corruption, violence and drug-trafficking.
Experts agree that the Pope’s tour was very important for South America because the Holy Father sees the region as an inspiring source, and in addition, it represents 40% of the catholic population in the world.
In statements in the Ecuadorian newspaper ‘El Telégrafo’, the Brazilian theologist Frei Betto said that the decision of the Pope to visit these three countries during his first formal tour of South America acts as a response to the fact that these nations were historically exploited and suffered.Share on FB Share on TT