Pope Francis has called on Panama’s leadership to embody honesty and justice, rather than corruption, as the leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics kicked off his trip to the country.
Speaking during a meeting with Panama authorities, diplomats and civil representatives after being received at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Pope Francis called for “a culture of greater transparency between governments, the private sector and the entire population.”
“The younger generation … demands that adults, and especially all those who exercise roles of leadership in public life, lead a life consonant with the dignity and authority that they possess and that has been entrusted to them,” Francis said.
“They call upon them … to lead a life that demonstrates that public service is a synonym of honesty and justice, and opposed to all forms of corruption,” he said.
Francis arrived in the Central American country on Wednesday to start a six-day trip, during which he will preside over World Youth Day, a Catholic youth festival.
The Panama trip comes as the Catholic Church is facing a global crisis over its failure to punish priests who sexually abused children.