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Vatican deeply apologizes for Pope Francis' Argentina 'Mexicanization' comment

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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
2/26/2015 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

Pope Francis' reference to drug trafficking in Argentina in email riles Mexican government

Pope Francis did not mean any offense - but in a private email about his native land Argentina's drug trafficking issues, the pope expressed concern over Argentina's "Mexicanization." The Vatican is now trying to clarify and apologize to any parties that may have been offended by that comment.

'The Pope did not mean to hurt the feelings of the Mexican people, nor did he intend to minimize the efforts of the Mexican government' in the fight against drug trafficking, papal representative Reverend Federico Lombardi told reporters in Rome.

"The Pope did not mean to hurt the feelings of the Mexican people, nor did he intend to minimize the efforts of the Mexican government" in the fight against drug trafficking, papal representative Reverend Federico Lombardi told reporters in Rome.

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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
2/26/2015 (4 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Mexicanization, Mexico, Pope Francis, offended, email


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis' friend, Argentinean activist Gustavo Vera published the Pope's email on his foundation's Web site. The Mexican government's Foreign Ministry sent a letter of protest to the Vatican, asking for an explanation and expressing "sadness and concern," Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade said.

"The Pope did not mean to hurt the feelings of the Mexican people, nor did he intend to minimize the efforts of the Mexican government" in the fight against drug trafficking, papal representative Reverend Federico Lombardi told reporters in Rome.

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"The expression 'avoid Mexicanization' was used by the Pope in an email of a strictly private and informal nature, in response to an Argentine friend who is deeply involved in the battle against drug abuse, who had used the phrase," Lombardi said in a separate statement released by the Vatican.

It was an unprecedented event for an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country like Mexico to formally and publicly scold the Pope. It must be noted that Pope Francis is known for his candid and sometimes controversial comments.

Popular Mexican columnist and political commentator Carlos Puig said on his Twitter account that such reaction reflected the old authoritarian tendencies of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party. It was during this era that the Mexican government could more easily control any criticism.

The Pope's comments were made about the same time Alejandro G. Inarritu, who won the best director Oscar on Sunday for the movie "Birdman," called for a better government in his native Mexico.

"Drug trafficking is a challenge we share, and a challenge to which Mexico has made enormous efforts," Meade said, the foreign minister. "Rather than seeking to stigmatize Mexico, or any other region of Latin American countries, what should be sought are better... spaces for dialogue and the recognition of Mexico's efforts."

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A note of explanation was delivered to Mexico's ambassador to the Holy See earlier this week, according to Lombardi.

"The Pope intended only to emphasize the seriousness of the phenomenon of the drug trafficking that afflicts Mexico and other countries in Latin America," he said.

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