Summer Visit by the Pope to Ecuador

The pope spoke to a million in Ecuador earlier this summer.

QUITO, Ecuador— Pope Francis praised the family as society’s primary haven of virtue but said its joys still elude many, and he voiced hope that a meeting of bishops at the Vatican this fall will help those who feel left out of family life.

The pope’s schedule for the week features a number of events reflecting his concern for social and economic justice. Arriving in Ecuador on Sunday, he called for sharing the benefits of development with the “most fragile of our brothers and sisters and the most vulnerable minorities.”

The pope had traveled to steamy Guayaquil, on the Pacific coast, from the Andean city of Quito, Ecuador’s capital, where he was scheduled to remain until departing for Bolivia on Wednesday.

He also made environmental protection a major theme:

Pope Francis on Tuesday called for increased protection of the Amazon rain forest and the indigenous people who live there, declaring that Ecuador must resist exploiting natural riches for “short-term benefits,” an implicit rebuke of the policies of President Rafael Correa.

In his final stops of a busy day, Francis made environmental protection a central theme, invoking the biblical tenet for humans to be guardians of creation, while praising the way of life of indigenous peoples living in the rain forests. Several indigenous leaders attending Francis’ final event of the day have been fighting the policies of Mr. Correa to expand oil exploration in the Ecuadorean Amazon.

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