[Austen Ivereigh in Ciudad Juárez] As Pope Francis reaches Chiapas, on Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala, it is clear that this apostolic voyage is as much about bolstering the Latin-American Church as it is about evangelizing the nation.
His messages over the weekend in Mexico City — beginning at the presidential palace, and at two major liturgies in the Basilica of Guadalupe and Ecatepec — did not shirk the deep challenges facing this country: drug cartels, human trafficking and violence were all mentioned in his address to President Enrique Peña Nieto and political leaders on Saturday morning, as well as in the homilies at the Basilica and Ecatepec and yesterday’s Angelus. Both in his official address as well as in off-the-cuff remarks to Mexico’s politicians — which have been leaking out in the papers here — Francis has encouraged them to debate fiercely but work together.
Yet what really stands out…
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