The Latest: Vatican responds to Trump's words on pope's stop
Feb. 17, 2016
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The latest on Pope Francis' visit to Mexico (all times local):
The Vatican has a message for Donald Trump: Pope Francis is not an instrument of Mexico's immigration policy and his concern about migrants is global, not just about the ones entering the United States.
Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi says, "The pope always talks about migration problems all around the world, of the duties we have to solve these problems in a humane manner, of hosting those who come from other countries in search of a life of dignity and peace."
Lombardi's comments Tuesday night came in response to Trump criticizing the pope's plan to visit the border wall that separates Ciudad Juarez from El Paso, Texas, on Wednesday to put a focus on the plight of migrants.
Trump said in an interview with Fox that he doesn't think the pope understands the danger to the U.S. of an open border with Mexico. In Trump's words: "I think Mexico got him to do it because they want to keep the border just the way it is. They're making a fortune, and we're losing."
For the first time on his trip to Mexico, Pope Francis has publicly showed signs of irritation.
Following a colorful encounter with young dancers and singers in the western city of Morelia, Francis went over to greet the faithful Tuesday.
Some overly eager people tugged on his sleeve from behind a barrier and appeared to be on the verge of toppling him.
After it happened a second time the pope got a cross look on his face and said, "Don't be selfish, don't be selfish."
Francis took a couple of steps back as appeals came over the public address system asking the crowd not to clump together.
The pontiff continued to wave to people a few minutes more before leaving.
This item has been corrected to reflect that the pope told crowd members tugging his sleeve, in Spanish, "Don't be selfish, don't be selfish."
Pope Francis is urging Mexico's young people to resist the lure of easy money from drug dealers and to instead build up their communities by valuing themselves as the wealth of the country.
Francis sought to offer a message of hope and encouragement to the next generation during a youth pep rally Tuesday in the state of Michoacan, which is a hotspot in Mexico's drug trade.
Francis said he understood it was difficult to feel one's worth when, in his words, "you are continually exposed to the loss of friends or relatives at the hands of the drug trade, of drugs themselves, of criminal organizations that sow terror."
But, he insisted, "You are the wealth of Mexico."
Pope Francis is urging Mexico's priests not to resign themselves to a country dominated by drug-fueled violence and corruption, but rather to be inspired to get out of their comfortable lives and fight injustice.
Francis' exhortation comes in a Mass for clergy in the state of Michoacan, a hotbed of Mexico's drug trade.
In his homily, Francis tells priests and nuns not to be paralyzed by resignation, which he calls the devil's "favorite weapon."
He's encouraging them to look instead to the model of Vasco de Quiroga, a Spanish bishop who came to New Spain in the 16th century. Vasco de Quiroga founded the first seminary and a hospital where indigenous people could go.
Francis says that rather than being resigned to seeing Indians being sold and humiliated by colonizers, Vasco de Quiroga was inspired to fight the injustice around him. Indigenous called him "Tata Vasco", which means "Father Vasco" in the Purepecha language.
Pope Francis has arrived at a stadium full of cheering Mexican priests, nuns and seminarians for a Mass in the heart of Mexico's drug-trafficking country.
Francis arrived Tuesday in Morelia in the penultimate day of his Mexico pilgrimage. After his plane landed, he cruised through town on a (5-mile) 9-kilometer drive in his popemobile. Thousands of people along the motorcade route waved Vatican flags and cheered wildly as he passed by.
Francis is expected to offer words of encouragement to Mexican clergy as they try to minister to a country wracked by drug violence and corruption.
The visit to Morelia is also tangible sign of Francis' respect for the city's archbishop, Alberto Suarez Inda, whom Francis made a cardinal last year. In a country where the church hierarchy is closely tied to political and financial elite, Suarez Inda has echoed the pope's admonition that "pastors should not be bureaucrats and we bishops should not have the mentality or attitude of princes."
Pope Francis is on his way to the heart of Mexico's drug-trafficking country for meetings with young people. He's holding them up as the hope for a better future for a country wracked by the violence and gang warfare of the drug trade.
Francis has just taken off from Mexico City in a jetliner for his visit to Morelia, the capital of Michoacan state.
The trip will give him a chance to send a message about his vision for the future of the Mexican church and some are expecting a tough message like the one he delivered Saturday to the country's bishops.
In Morelia, 20-year-old seminarian Uriel Perez says that message was meant for the rest of the church too. He says "the pope is demanding and wants us to be prepared and in the streets, shoulder to shoulder with our flock."