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Occupy SMA


By Liz Mestres


“… This kind of world does not allow the integral development of the human being, a development that is not reduced to consumption or to the well-being of a few but includes all peoples and individuals in their full dignity, enjoying as brothers and sisters the marvel of creation. That is the development we need: one that is human, integral, respectful of creation, respectful of this common home.”—Pope Francis


Continuing our examination of political visions for a better world that are emerging, Occupy San Miguel will look at the new Pope Francis who was perhaps most recently in the public spotlight for his statement during the US 2016 electoral campaign that: “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”

Receiving scant press attention are the Pope’s attempts to challenge the conservatism of the Catholic Church. In Mexico, for example, he has restored some of the measures enacted in the ’60s and ’70s by liberation theologians that had been suppressed. Most striking is his reversal of a ban on the ordination of indigenous deacons imposed after the retirement of Bishop Samuel Ruiz in Chiapas. Ruiz had incurred the wrath of the Vatican when he fought against the abuses suffered by the indigenous Mayans and sought to bring them into the church as equals with other Mexicans. Globally, Pope Francis has initiated the World Meeting of Popular Movements—an “encounter” between Church leadership and grassroots organizations working to address the “economy of exclusion and inequality” by working for structural changes that promote social, economic, and racial justice.

On Monday, Nov 20, Occupy San Miguel will screen an address by Pope Francis at the closing of the Third World Meeting of Popular Movements, November 3–5, 2016, where two hundred members met representing 92 popular movements from 65 countries. Key themes were land, work, and housing. A subsequent regional meeting in California, February 2017 ( embraced two additional themes—migration and racism.

To the surprise of many, Pope Francis has consistently opposed “savage capitalism” and the war, terror, and fear that it engenders. In his speech, the Pope embraced the work of popular movements, saying: “I congratulate you, I accompany you, and I ask you to continue to blaze trails and to keep fighting. This gives me strength; this gives all of us strength.” He also thanked them for aiding migrants and recalled scenes from his visit to the Greek island of Lesbos, where the plight of so many children demonstrated the “bankruptcy of humanity.” “What happens,” he asked, “in the world today if it is a bank which goes into bankruptcy; immediately there appear outrageous sums to save it, but when the bankruptcy of humanity arrives, not one-thousandth of that will be used to save our suffering brothers and sisters. Thus the Mediterranean has become a cemetery and not just the Mediterranean … many cemeteries are near walls; walls stained with innocent blood.” Join the discussion. Our events are free.


Meeting, Film, and Discussion

Occupy SMA presents Popular Movements, Politics, & the Pope

Mon, Nov 20, 1pm

Quinta Loreto Hotel, TV room

Loreto 15, Centro



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