Pope Francis tells Mexican bishops be unified, speak out on tough issues

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February 13, 2016

Pope Francis greets the crowd gathered in Mexico City's main square as Pope Francis arrives for a meeting with the nation's bishops in the cathedral Feb. 13. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-MEXICO-BISHOPS Feb. 13, 2016.

Pope Francis greets the crowd gathered in Mexico City’s main square as Pope Francis arrives for a meeting with the nation’s bishops in the cathedral Feb. 13. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

MEXICO CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis demanded forceful denunciations of drug violence in Mexico from the country’s bishops, who have preferred timid pronouncements instead of speaking prophetically on a tragedy that has claimed more than 100,000 lives over the past 10 years and left an another 25,000 Mexicans missing.

Speaking Feb. 13 to an audience of bishops in Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Pope Francis urged them to confront the scourge of drug cartels and organized crime by raising their voices, developing pastoral plans, and “drawing in and embracing the fringes of human existence in the ravaged areas of our cities.”

“I urge you not to underestimate the moral and anti-social challenge, which the drug trade represents for young people and Mexican society as a whole,” Pope Francis said. “The magnitude of this phenomenon … and the gravity of the violence … do not allow us as pastors of the church to hide behind anodyne denunciations.”

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