It was a message he was likely to repeat later in the day at a meeting with indigenous groups, and then later this week in Bolivia, the next stop on his three-nation South American tour.
The people of Ecuador took a step in this direction in the fall of 2008, when they became the first country to adopt a constitution that legally recognizes the “Rights of Nature” to “exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution”.
In his second homily on his weeklong homecoming to his native continent, Pope Francis has called for a “revolution” of evangelization in Latin America.
In a deeply personal gesture soon after he arrived, Francis stopped his motorcade along the highway heading into town at the site where a Jesuit priest, the Rev. Luis Espinal, was left in 1980 after being detained and tortured by Bolivia’s paramilitary squads.
The Pope himself said he was surprised that he had the strength to do “so much”.
The decrease has come as evangelical churches have attracted huge numbers of followers, many of whom are indigenous people disenchanted by a lack of attention from the Catholic hierarchy.
Pope Francis especially asked that policy makers show respect and solidarity in protecting the great environmental diversity in Ecuador, which is home to both mountains and coastlands, as well as the Galapagos Islands. “Mary knew that everything she had was a freely given gift from God”, he said.
Pope Francis urged Tuesday the Ecuadoreanfaithful to “fight for social inclusion” during an outdoormass in the Quito, the capital of Ecuador.
I came to the US when I was 14 years old, leaving the life I knew behind for an opportunity at a better life. On his final full day in Quito Pope Francis pressed his case for a…
On Thursday, July 9 Francis will go on the Pope-mobile to visit the Christ the Redeemer statue and will later head to officiate the mass service which is scheduled at 10:00 a.m. Pope Francis and Evo Morales have met on several occasions lately, most recently last October, when Morales visited the Vatican to advocate for the poor.
The Mass was attended by President Rafael Correa, who had private talks with the pope on Monday night at the presidential palace after Francis returned from the coastal city of Guayaquil, where he said Mass for 800,000 people.
United We Dream is asking Pope Francis to speak out against the political games that have halted the implementation of administrative programs that would provide relief from deportation for my sister and close to five million undocumented immigrants.
“He is not going to speak out against Ecuadorian oil or Bolivian gas”, the papal confidant said, noting that the encyclical acknowledges a need for a transition period in which fossils should be phased out and replaced by renewable energy.
“The Pope’s health isn’t normal”, Lombardi said. The theme of his visit in Ecuador, where he preached the importance of championing the poor and the environment, will carry on in Bolivia and later, Paraguay.
Entering the area, Francis stopped the popemobile for a brief moment to hug an elderly woman in a wheelchair.
Nonetheless, the opposition demonstrations – some of which have turned violent – have continued, in spite of calls from Ecuadorean officials for a national debate on wealth distribution.
La Paz stands at 4,000 meters (about 13,120 feet) above sea level, and the Vatican decided to keep the pope’s stay to just four hours to limit any problems for the 78-year-old pontiff, who has only one full lung.
Tuesday was expected to end with a visit to the Church of the Society of Jesus, known locally as Iglesia de la Compania.