Pope Francis rallies for the poor, against corruption
Video by Kristine Angeli Sabillo
MANILA, Philippines – Pope Francis didn’t mince words when he gave his first public speech in the country.
For more than 11 minutes, the pontiff spoke about the need to uphold the rights and dignity of the people, especially the poor.
He also rallied against corruption and called for the emergence of “outstanding” leadership.
“The great biblical tradition enjoins on all peoples the duty to hear the voice of the poor. It bids us [to] break the bonds of injustice and oppression, which give rise to glaring, and indeed scandalous, social inequalities,” Pope Francis said during his speech at the Rizal Hall in Malacanang Palace.
Speaking before an audience of Filipino officials and foreign dignitaries, he pointed out that a “conversion of mind and heart” is required to reform a system that “perpetuate(s) poverty and the exclusion of the poor.”
“The Bishops of the Philippines have asked that this year be set aside as the “Year of the Poor.” I hope that this prophetic summons will challenge everyone, at all levels of society, to reject every form of corruption which diverts resources from the poor, and to make concerted efforts to ensure the inclusion of every man and woman and child in the life of the community,” he said.
The Philippines has the biggest Catholic population in Asia. Although touted to have achieved economic growth in the past years, it is still known for widespread poverty and corruption.
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