NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 27 – Pope Francis has called on Kenyans to aspire for more than wealth and seek to develop their character.
He said it was unfortunate that greater value has been placed on money than on fellow human beings and at many times at man’s expense; folly, he said.
“I would like to speak about something which the language of exclusion often disregards or seems to ignore. An opulent society anaesthetized by unbridled consumption.”
He said the poor had much to teach in the way of character building and should not be looked down upon on account of their condition.
“The culture of poor neighbourhoods can offer something to these times in which we live; finding a place for the sick in one’s home, sharing bread with the hungry for there is always room for one more at the table, showing patience and strength when faced with great adversity.”
Values he strongly encouraged Kenyans to aspire to as he called out, “faceless land grabbers,” and the corrupt whose ill gotten wealth, he said, they would not take with them to the grave. “Corruption is not a path to life, it’s a path to death,” he cautioned. “Corrupt people don’t live in peace.”
During his visit, Pope Francis on numerous occasions put an emphasis on the importance of fostering the family unit which he said, during Thursday’s mass at the University of Nairobi, shouldn’t be sacrificed on the altar of materialism.
“This is especially important today for we are seeing the growth of new deserts created by a culture of materialism and indifference to others.”
And in the interest of future generations, Pope Francis emphasised the need for Kenyans to be good stewards of their “God-given treasures.”
“There is a clear link between the protection of nature and the building of a just and equitable social order,” he said.
A just and equitable society is what Kenya’s stewards (leaders), he said, should aspire to by acknowledging the aspirations of the youth and rights of the less fortunate.