Pope Francis I celebrated Mass on the Mexican side of the Texas-Mexican border, made the sign of the cross, and blessed the people gathered there in Ciudad Juarez. He then called for governments and others to have “open hearts” to the “tragedy that is forced migration.”
His prayers and the Mass were also telecast live at the Sun Bowl stadium in El Paso on the Texas side of the border.
As reported by Breitbart Texas’ Ildefonso Ortiz on Thursday, the pontiff was in Ciudad Juarez, one of the cities that has thousands of migrants from Central America. Its own citizens are also “looking for a way into America.”
The crosses and the site of the Pope praying there, were intended as a powerful visual to be etched not only in the minds of those in attendance, but memorialized for world history in photographs.
The spiritual leader of the world’s largest organized religious institution addressed government officials and others about their openness to immigration.
The message was meant to educate, and to serve as a reminder to the thousands who have died trying to make the journey into the United States.
Indeed, thousands have died trying to swim the Rio Grande river, by taking the journey in the heat and treacherous sand, and by putting their lives and their futures into the hands of coyotes.
Pope Fransis said that those who have fled have left because of drug related violence, poverty, and criminal organizations.
As reported by Breitbart Texas, Pope Francis has also been in Morelia, the capital of the state of Michoacan on Wednesday. The pope was speaking to citizens and young people who have lived in a country hit hard by drugs, drug smuggling, and trafficking by violent drug cartels. Michoacan has been utterly vexed with drug violence while Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, has earned the title of the murder capital of the world in recent years.
Pope Francis told the people attending Mass in Ciudad Juarez on Thursday, this is the “way filled with terrible injustice, they are enslaved and tortured … many fall prey to human trafficking.”
The pontiff admonished, “We can not ignore the humanitarian crisis that has brought the forced migration of thousands of persons.”
Pope Francis I is the first Latin American pope. He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
As reported by Breitbart News on February 15, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump criticized the pontiff’s stance on immigration the week before, calling him a “very political person” who is being exploited by Mexico at America’s expense.
Trump added, “I think he doesn’t understand the problems our country has. I don’t think he understands the danger of the open border that we have with Mexico. And I think Mexico got him to do it because Mexico wants to keep the border just the way it is because they’re making a fortune and we’re losing.”
The pope has also played an important role in opening up communication between Cuba and the United States. He has addressed the United States Congress, and met with the president of Iran when the nuclear deal was under great public scrutiny.
Although Official Vatican News reports that Pope Francis is in Mexico not to take a firm stance on immigration, or to be a politician, his message may not be as covert as is represented.
The Official Vatican Network on Thursday reported that the Pope “has made his mark in Mexico ‘in a very pastoral way, not as a politician, not as a person who come with easy solutions for problems that are so incredibly difficult.”
After his trip to Cuba and the United States in September, the Pope told the international media that walls where not the solution to the migrant crisis in Europe and this was reported by Breitbart News.
The Pope said, “You know what happens to all walls. All of them. All walls fall. Today, tomorrow or in 100 years, they will fall.” Pope Francis continued, “This is not a solution. The wall isn’t a solution. At this moment, Europe is in trouble, it’s true. We have to be intelligent because a whole wave of migrants is arriving and it isn’t easy to find solutions. But with dialogue among different nations they will find them.”
Pope Francis has also been a harsh critic of what he calls the “silent complicity” of the West for its failure to intervene in Syria, as reported by Breitbart News. The Pope has pointed his finger at the United States for allowing ISIS to ravage the country and their inhabitants. During his trip to the U.S., the Pope met with President Obama and Russian Premier Vladimir Putin, and the war in Syria was reported to be the number one issue discussed.
On February 12, history was made when Pope Francis became the first pope to ever meet with the spiritual leader of Russian Orthodoxy, Patriarch Kirill of “Moscow and All Russia.”
On February 15, reported Breitbart News, Pope Francis invited the Mexican bishops not to forget members of their flock who have gone abroad, insisting rather that they need hearts “capable of following these men and women and reaching them beyond the borders.”
“Strengthen the communion with your brothers of the North American episcopate, so that the maternal presence of the Church can keep alive the roots of the faith of these men and women, as well as the motivation for their hope and the power of their charity,” he said.
Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. Follow her on Twitter@LanaShadwick2