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In crime-infested Mexican suburb, pope rips wealth, vanity, and pride


MEXICO CITY — Pope Francis on Sunday made his way to Ecatepec, a notoriously poor and lawless suburb of the Mexican capital city, where he delivered a classically personal warning against the temptations of “wealth, vanity, and pride.”

Francis opted to visit Mexico City’s outskirts, despite obvious safety concerns, to stand with a community where daily life is often defined by violence, the drug trade, and legal impunity for offenders.

He used the occasion to call for building a Mexico where the dreams of ordinary people are not tied to leaving. Speaking to a crowd estimated at 350,000, with perhaps as many as a million more in surrounding areas, many of whom spent the night braving freezing temperatures, the pope framed his remarks in terms of the season of Lent.

“[There are] three temptations for the Christian, which seek to destroy what we have been called to be,” Francis said. “Three temptations which try to corrode us and tear us down.”

He said that just as Jesus did, Christians today face “three temptations which lock us into a cycle of destruction and sin.”

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