Maputo: Pope Francis on Friday ended a visit to Mozambique with a mass denouncing corruption in the worlds poorest nations and called for reconciliation because no society should base itself on the “eye for an eye” principal.
During the mass, delivered to a 60,000-strong crowd in Zimpeto stadium on the northern outskirts of Maputo, the Pontiff made reference to the country’s violent past and one of the greatest issues affecting some nations in Africa: corruption.
The Pope warned that sometimes “those who appear to want to help have other interests”, according to Efe news.
“It’s sad when this is found among brothers from the same land who are corrupted,” said the Pope, adding: “It’s very dangerous to accept this as the price we have to pay for foreign aid”.
The Pope said there was still fear over the “injuries” of the past returning to wipe out the path to peace, such as in the northern Cabo Delgado province earlier in the year where armed groups launched attacks.
“It’s hard to talk about reconciliation when injuries caused over so many years of disagreement are still so fresh, or the invitation towards forgiveness that doesn’t mean ignoring the pain or asking for the loss of memory or ideals,” the pope said.
Since it gained its independence from Portugal, Mozambique endured a fratricidal war that left one million dead and four million others displaced, ending with a peace deal signed in Rome in 1992, with the Catholic Church’s mediation.
The Pontiff also dismissed living “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” as “no family, no neighbours or ethnic group, less so a country, has a future if the driving force that unites, brings them together and covers their differences is vengeance and hate.”
The Pope added that weapons and violence repression create new and worse conflicts, and not solutions.