Pope Francis Expresses Support for Social Progress in Ecuador

Source:  TeleSUR
June 6, 2015

Pope Francis:  “I thank you, Mr. President, … I appreciate your words in line with my thinking, for quoting me, thank you. I reciprocate with my best wishes for the achievement of your mission, that you achieve what you want to for the good of your people.”

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa (L) greets Pope Francis as he arrives in a windy Ecuador, July 5, 2015. | Photo: Presidencia Ecuador

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa (L) greets Pope Francis as he arrives in a windy Ecuador, July 5, 2015. | Photo: Presidencia Ecuador

Arriving in Ecuador Sunday at the start of the pope’s tour of South America, Pope Francis and President Rafael Correa made speeches in which the two emphasised a shared message of social justice

“I thank you, Mr. President, … I appreciate your words in line with my thinking, for quoting me, thank you. I reciprocate with my best wishes for the achievement of your mission, that you achieve what you want to for the good of your people,” said the pope.

Ecuador’s most notable achievements under Correa

Under Correa, the government has reoriented internal and external priorities, bringing about deep change under over the past eight years under what Ecuador’s leaders call the Citizen’s Revolution. Among the most notable achievements include slashing poverty and raising living standards, as well as implementing free higher education and healthcare.

The pope also referred to “paying special attention to our most vulnerable brothers and most vulnerable minorities,” with the pontiff said “was a debt that Latin America still had.”

“I reciprocate with my best wishes for the achievement of your mission, that you achieve what you want to for the good of your people.” “For this, Mr. President, you may always count on the commitment and collaboration of the church. For serving Ecuador’s people, who have risen with dignity.”

Right-wing attacks on Ecuadorean democracy

The pope’s visit to the South American country comes amid a series of anti-government protests, many of which have turned violent. The protests were initially about two tax laws that would have raised taxes on the nation’s wealthy, however, despite President Correa announcing the laws would be postponed in order to have a national dialogue on the issue of wealth redistribution, protests have now focussed on ousting the democratically elected leader.

Pope Francis:  Value differences, promote dialogue without exclusion, guarantee a better future for all

Pope Francis added that the Gospels holds “the keys that allow us to face the current challenges,” which are to value differences, promote dialogue “without exclusion,” so that “the achievements in progress and development … guarantee a better future for all.”

Poverty will not be eradicated with handouts, but with laws

“Poverty will not be eradicated with handouts, but with laws” “It’s not enough to expect the poor to pick up the crumbs that fall off the tables of the rich,” Correa said in his speech prior to the pope’s. “The major social sin of Latin America is injustice. How can we call ourselves the most Christian continent in the world, while at the same time being the most unequal, when one of the most recurrent Christian symbols in the Gospels is to share the bread?” That’s why the pope “clearly demands a distribution of wealth,” Correa added.

Meanwhile Ricardo Patiño, in an exclusive interview with teleSUR, praised the pope’s humanist positions, saying that what the Citizens’ Revolution proposes “is also part of that thinking and principle, we are happy to share that with him.”

The pope, who is the first Latin American and first from the southern hemisphere, will be in the Andean country until Wednesday, before visiting Bolivia and Paraguay.

Source:  Pope Francis Expresses Support for Social Progress in Ecuador  TeleSUR

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