Pope Francis calls for hopefulness, joyfulness and ‘an openness to being surprised by God.’

Assails Latin American drug cartels, legalization

USA Today

RIO DE JANEIRO – Pope Francis assailed narcotics trafficking and criticized calls to legalize drugs in Latin America in remarks Wednesday while inaugurating a drug rehabilitation clinic.

Taking on the powerful drug lords whose violence costs the lives of tens of thousands in Latin America, Francis condemned drug cartels as “merchants of death” who “follow the logic of money and power at any cost.”

“The scourge of drug-trafficking, that favors violence and sows the seeds of suffering and death, requires an act of courage from society as a whole,” Francis said at a clinic named for St. Francis of Assisi…

…In May he told organized criminals to, “Stop wrecking people’s lives and repent.”…

…”It is true that nowadays, to some extent, everyone, including young people, is attracted to so many idols that take the place of God: money, success, power (and) pleasure,” he said in his homily. “A growing sense of loneliness in the hearts of many people leads them to seek satisfaction in these ephemeral idols.”

The pope, popular for his simple style and putting a friendly face on a traditional institution, admonished the young people in attendance to adopt a joyful attitude, telling them, “Christians cannot be pessimists!”


The complete article is at USA Today.


Pope Francis arrived in Aparecida, Brazil Wednesday to visit one of the most important shrines in Latin America, and say a mass with local bishops and seminarians. (July 24)




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