At Mass, Pope Francis Embraces ‘Misunderstood’ of Mexico

2/16/16 New York Times

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Pope Francis 

SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico — Pope Francis came to the highlands of Mexico’s southern frontier on Monday to offer a pastoral embrace to the region’s impoverished indigenous people, expressing shame over discrimination and exploitation and honoring the legacy of a beloved local bishop who once clashed with the Mexican government — and the Vatican.

In visiting the state of Chiapas, a region on the Guatemalan border long synonymous with the struggles and armed rebellions of Mexico’s Mayan communities, Francis presided over an outdoor morning Mass before tens of thousands of people ringed by rugged green mountains. Looking over the crowd, Francis invoked the harsh treatment endured by indigenous people and called for social justice.

“On many occasions, in a systematic and organized way, your people have been misunderstood and excluded from society,” Francis said. “Some have considered your values, culture and traditions to be inferior. Others, intoxicated by power, money and market trends, have stolen your lands or contaminated them.”

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