Mexican politicians eager to show themselves meeting Pope Francis

Categories: Latest News

February 15, 2016

Pope Francis, Mexico's first lady Angelica Rivera and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto participate in a ceremony at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico Feb. 13. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, via Reuters) See POPE-MEXICO-POLITICIANS Feb. 15, 2016.

Pope Francis, Mexico’s first lady Angelica Rivera and Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto participate in a ceremony at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico Feb. 13. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano, via Reuters)

MEXICO CITY (CNS) — Shortly after arriving in Mexico City Feb. 12, President Enrique Pena Nieto introduced Pope Francis to most of his Cabinet and senior staff. The next morning, he introduced the pope again to his team at the National Palace in central Mexico City, where presidents and leaders have projected power to the country since colonial times.

Pena Nieto, whose Institutional Revolutionary Party was founded by anti-clerical revolutionaries and governed for most of the last century, spoke in platitudes during his address to an audience of politicians and diplomats. He also highlighted the privilege of receiving the pope, who is in Mexico for a six-day visit.

Pope Francis spoke of privileges, too — though in a less-flattering form to a political class accustomed to high pay and perks, along with impunity, in a country where almost half the population is poor and their numbers stay stubbornly steady.

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