The theme for Pope Francis’ visit to Peru is “United by Hope” and he told authorities, civil society and diplomats gathered at Government Palace in Lima on Friday that “seeing this land is itself a reason for hope.”
The Pope continued by saying that Peru was a country steeped in hospitality, solidarity and esteem for others.
He pointed to the youth of the country as the most vital gift the nation possessed, adding that they “encourage us to dream of a hope-filled future”.
Hope and the face of holiness
The threat to the ecosystem
But the Pope underlined that “over this hope a shadow is growing, a threat looms”.
He spoke of how humanity “is stripping the earth of its natural resources, without which no forms of life are possible.” The loss of jungles and forests, he added, “means not only the loss of species, which could also be extremely important resources for the future, but also the loss of vital relationships that could end up altering the entire ecosystem”.
In this context, Pope Francis stressed “being “united in defense of hope” means promoting and developing an integral ecology as an alternative to “an outdated model of development…”
Working together to defend hope, he said, “demands that we remain very attentive to that other, often subtle form of environmental degradation that increasingly contaminates the whole system of life: corruption.”