Pope Francis said “no religion is terrorist and no people is criminal” in a welcome letter read at a Vatican-sponsored conference on economic inequality in Northern California.
He encouraged Christians and people of good will to be neighbors without drawing barriers. The Vatican is conducting its discussion on economic inequality to California’s Central Valley. President Donald Trump’s recent executive orders on immigration ban are likely to be part of the conversation among faith leaders and social justice activists.
Earlier on February.15, Pope Francis criticized President Donald Trump over his stand on the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) issue. Trump has recently ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to approve the permit for the DAPL. Native Americans from scores of tribes have been protesting against DAPL, starting with members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the protest has since grown to hundreds of people.
According to the reports from The Washington Post, Pope Francis weighs in on DAPL conflict and said:
“In this regard, the right to prior and informed consent should always prevail. Only then is it possible to guarantee peaceful cooperation between governing authorities and indigenous peoples, overcoming confrontation and conflict.”
He told the indigenous leaders that “For governments, this means recognizing that indigenous communities are a part of the population to be appreciated and consulted, and whose full participation should be promoted at the local and national level.”
Pope Francis is the 266th and current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. He chose Francis as his papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi.
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