Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-02-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Open To Thinking: Francis on the borders
A recurring column
by Nick Patricca
2016-03-02

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


By design, the itinerary of Francis in his first official visit to Mexico took him to its southern border with Guatemala in the state of Chiapas and to its northern border with the U.S. in the state of Chihuahua.

This border-framing of the visit to Mexico of El Papa Francisco—the first Latin American pope, the first Jesuit pope, the first pope to take the name of Francis, and the first non-European pope since the Syrian Gregory III in 741 of our common era—placed an intense spotlight on an essential theme in his apostolate: concern for individuals and peoples who are forced to live their lives on the margins of their societies.

In Chiapas, Francis addressed the horrific plight of the migrant-refugees from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, who are fleeing across Mexico's southern border to escape the endemic violence in their countries caused by civil wars, corruption, and narco-terrorist gangs. The collapse of their societies has forced these Central American migrants to make the perilous journey from their respective countries through Mexico to its northern border with the United States where they hope to find safety and the possibility of living human—humane—lives with the chance of a real future.

Francis took to task the corrupt Mexican officials who prey upon these migrants and who tolerate or collude with local narco-terrorist gangs which have taken up the extremely lucrative business of human trafficking and slavery to supplement their drug and arms dealings.

In the city of San Cristobal de las Casas—named in part after Bartolome de las Casas the great 16th century champion of the rights of original peoples—Francis focused his spotlight on the indigenous peoples of Chiapas who comprise more than 35 percent of the population and who live, for the most part, in poverty.

Francis celebrated a mass and lunched with representatives of these indigenous peoples, thereby affirming the legacy of Samuel Ruiz, a former bishop of San Cristobal who had been censored by the Vatican for promoting the social and labor rights of indigenous peoples and the use of original languages and practices in Catholic rituals.

In the West-Central state of Michoacan, Francis continued his special focus on the marginalization of indigenous peoples by meeting with representatives of the Purepecha and other original peoples. In Morelia, the capital of Michoacan, four young people asked Francis to address the problems of narco-terrorist violence in their communities and of the lack of suitable employment. In response, Francis delivered a strong admonishment to the Mexican government and the Mexican elite, accusing them of greed, incompetence, and indifference to the welfare of the poor and of the young. He specifically noted that in many communities the local officials were in collusion with the drug cartels and gangs.

By leveling this serious charge against corrupt and compromised authority Francis highlighted another form of marginalization: the fate of citizens caught in the disintegration of civil society and trapped in situations without legitimate means for obtaining justice—a particularly heinous example, the kidnapping and killing of 43 students from Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers' College in the state of Guerrero in 2014 by local and state police in collusion with the mayor and local drug gangs.

In the Mexican city of Juarez, on the banks of the Rio Grande, surrounded by crosses representing the 6,000 migrants who have lost their lives trying to cross over into the U.S., Francis prayed in silence, facing the city of El Paso—keeping in his heart and mind the open letter of the Christian base communities, the private letter from the sisters who minister to the peoples of Juarez, the petitions of the mothers of the disappeared young women.

In his three years as pope, Francis has demonstrated a special compassion for migrants and refugees. But, we must understand this concern of Francis as part of his commitment to meet the needs of all individuals and peoples who are forced to live on the borders, who are forced to cross frontiers, in order to become fully human, to be creative citizens.

As Francis has called upon governments and societies to respond to the needs of the powerless, those who live on the margins of their communities, I call upon Francis to boldly push his church to meet the needs of those who suffered sexual abuse from clergy, of those who suffer the arbitrary abuse of power by church authorities, and to recognize the rights of women, LGBTs, the divorced and others to full participation in the life of the church.

© nicholas.patricca@gmail.com .

Nick Patricca is professor emeritus at Loyola University Chicago, president of Chicago Network and playwright emeritus at Victory Gardens Theater.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Windy City Times Election Guide, candidate interviews and printable chart 2019-02-13 - PRINTABLE CHART ONLY For the printable chart only, please follow the link: www.windycitymediagroup.com/pdf/2019chartsforweb.pdf . INTERVIEWS AND ELECTION NEWS For all candidate ...


Gay News

THE AMAZON TRAIL How to celebrate Valentine's Day 2019-02-13 - Valentine's Day is one of those do-it-yourself celebrations. There are no parades or feasts or family gatherings. When I was single, I ...


Gay News

LETTER Miscarriages of justice 2019-02-13 - Dear Editor: The lenient sentencing of Jason Van Dyke for his murder of LaQuan McDonald calls to mind the White Nights from ...


Gay News

LETTER Darkness 2019-01-30 - To the editor: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is a local parish in the heart of Chicago's Boystown. It is situated between Halsted ...


Gay News

SCOTUS upholds trans military ban with 'no-blanket ban' 2019-01-30 - With a mostly conservative Supreme Court—Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch and ...


Gay News

Letter to the editor, Miscarriages of justice 2019-01-22 - Dear Editor: The lenient sentencing of Jason Van Dyke for his murder of LaQuan McDonald calls to mind the White Nights from ...


Gay News

THE AMAZON TRAIL A poem and a plant 2019-01-16 - The day was typical for the Pacific Northwest. The brightening sky had stopped sputtering its fine dewdrops for the moment, the wind had ...


Gay News

What 5,000 phone-sex calls taught me about gay men 2019-01-09 - The number might be a little low. Over the course of my "phone fantasy." career in the 1980s, I spoke to as many ...


Gay News

LETTER Saying goodbye 2019-01-09 - Dear friends: Dec. 28, 2018 Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 says, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose. A ...


Gay News

An evening with Michelle 2019-01-02 - Former First Lady Michelle Obama swept into Boston recently as part of the national book tour promoting her memoir Becoming; the event was ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.