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Pope Francis to Peruvian officials: How harmful corruption is to our Latin American people

“Welcome to Peru, Pope Francis.”

Pope Francis was warmly received in the Patio of Honor of the Government Palace of Lima. President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski gave a long address in which he recalled some landmarks in Peru's history, in which the Holy Father now holds a place. 

President of Perú

“United in the hope that, through faith, we will get there; through dialogue, yes, we will get there; through Pope Francis' message, yes, we will get there. Welcome, Holy Father.”

The pope chose to focus his discourse on hope, as the slogan of his visit states. He explained that defending hope is promoting an integral ecology that respects local populations as well as the environment. 

“The degradation of the environment, sad to say, cannot be separated from the moral degradation of our communities. We cannot think of these as two separate realities.”

Above all, Pope Francis assured that preserving hope requires an awareness of more subtle forms of degradation, such as corruption. 

“How much evil is done to our Latin American people and the democracies of this continent by this social 'virus,' a phenomenon that infects everything, with the greatest harm being done to the poor and mother earth.”

Thus, the pope forcefully reminded that everyone must be committed to combatting this “social virus.”

“Being 'united in defense of hope' requires a greater culture of transparency among public entities, the private sector and civil society. No one can be excluded from this process. Corruption is preventable and calls for commitment on the part of all.”

Later, Pope Francis greeted officials from the country and met privately with the president. At the conclusion of their encounter, gifts were exchanged. Among the objects was this Ayacucho altarpiece. Following the formal photos, the Holy Father cordially bid farewell to the Peruvian president.