Things That Matter

The Pope Thinks That Mexico’s Struggle With Violence Is Because Of The Devil And La Virgen De Guadalupe

Pope Francis was in Mexico recently and spoke about everything from abortion and femicide to the border wall and standing up to Trump.

But it’s his comments about Mexico’s struggle with violence and conflict that have everybody talking.

In a recent interview with Noticieros Televisa, Pope Francis blamed the country’s rising violence on the devil taking out its anger on the country.

Credit: @1marcolopez / Twitter

The Pope offered an explanation for the violence and conflict that Mexico faces, saying that “the devil has beef” with Mexico. He says it’s because of the frequent persecution that Catholics faced in the country over the years.

He added that “Christian persecutions weren’t as virulent in other countries in America,” he told Noticieros Televisa, according to El Universal. “Why in Mexico? Something happened there… Otherwise, you can’t explain it.”

According to the Pope, the devil’s problem with Mexico also stems from the country’s immense admiration for la Virgen de Guadalupe.

Translation: @Pontifex_es still things that the devil has beef with Mexico because in Mexico, there is la Virgen de Guadalupe.

This actually goes back to a 2015 interview where the Pope again blamed Mexicans for worshipping la Virgen. He went on to say this is why the devil punishes Mexico.

Obviously, his remarks have caused quite a bit of drama in one of the world’s most Catholic countries.

Credit: @El_Universal_Mx / Twitter

Translation: He has to blame our bullshit on something.

People across Twitter are either offended and annoyed that the Pope would simplify something that is so complicated, while others are upset that their religious leader suggests they face an issue with the devil.

Like I don’t think anyone wants to hear that their country is being punished by the devil – especially not from the church’s number 1 leader.

Though many heard the news and couldn’t help but laugh.

Credit: @RuidoEnLaRed / Twitter

The majority of people across social media just couldn’t beleive that their county’s struggles were being reduced to such a simple explanation.

Many wanted to hear detailed plans or suggestions from Pope Francis on how best to combat the issues the country faces but, instead, were left disappointed.

And some suggested the devil himself was probably having a good laugh at all of this.

Translation: Now we understand everything. The devil has beef with Mexico, says the Pope.

And one Twitter user admitted he agrees with Pope Francis.

Credit: @dmorenochavez / Twitter

Translation: “I also think that ‘the devil has beef with Mexico.’ Well, at least with my Chivas.”

Or at least that the devil has beef with his futbol team, Las Chivas. And with a season like they had last year, we would probably have to agree.

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This Teacher Received A Nissan Pickup Truck Decked Out As A Mobile Classroom

Things That Matter

This Teacher Received A Nissan Pickup Truck Decked Out As A Mobile Classroom

Like students around the world, kids in Mexico have been forced to take school online or tune into programming on public TV in order to learn. But that’s just the kids who are lucky enough to have access to Internet or a TV. Many students live in rural areas and lack the adequate resources to continue their studies amid the global pandemic.

But thankfully, there are many good samaritans out there (aka compassionate teachers) who have invented their own ways to bring the classroom to kids wherever they are.

A Mexican teacher was gifted a decked out pickup truck by Nissan.

Since schools were forced to close last year in April, Aguascalientes special education teacher Nallely Esparza Flores, has been driving four hours a day to educate students one-on-one at their homes from her truck bed, outfitted with a small table and chairs.

News of her project spread across social media, eventually reaching the corporate offices of Nissan México. This week, the company surprised Esparza with the gift of a new pickup truck specially outfitted with a small open-air mobile classroom built into the truck’s bed.

“Today I feel like my labors and the help that we give each day to children and their families is unstoppable,” she said on Twitter Wednesday, sharing photos of her new vehicle. “My students no longer have to take classes in the full heat of the sun,” she said.

Nissan representatives said they decided to give Esparza the adapted NP300 model, 4-cylinder truck after hearing her story because she was “an example of perseverance and empathy.”

“When we learned about the incredible work of this teacher, we got together to discuss in what way we could contribute to this noble work,” said Armando Ávila, a vice president of manufacturing.

The mobile classroom is pretty legit and will allow Esparza to continue her good deed.

Esparza inside her new classroom.

The decked out Nissan pickup truck has three walls (the other is a retractable sheeting) and a ceiling made with translucent panels to protect teacher and student from the elements while letting in natural light.

It also has retractable steps for easy access to the classroom, electrical connections, a whiteboard and an easily disinfected acrylic table and benches that are foldable into the wall to provide space. The table also has a built-in plexiglass barrier to allow social distancing.

Access to education in Mexico is highly inequitable.

Esparza, like many teachers across the country, found that not all distance learning was equal. Many of her students in Cavillo were from poor families without internet access. So she used social media networks to keep in touch with such students via cell phones, but even that was not necessarily an available option for all — and not ideal. Finally, she decided to solve the problem by hitting the road in her pickup truck.

According to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), only 58% of students in Mexico had a home computer – the lowest percentage among all OECD countries. And only about one third (32%) of the school computers in rural schools in Mexico were connected to
the Internet, compared to more than 90% for schools located in urban areas.

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The Vatican Threatened to Fire Employees Who Refuse to Get the Vaccine, But Is Now Walking it Back

Things That Matter

The Vatican Threatened to Fire Employees Who Refuse to Get the Vaccine, But Is Now Walking it Back

Photo via Getty Images

On February 8th Pope Francis signed a health ordinance written by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello. The ordinance threatened to “interrupt employment” of anyone who refuses the vaccine without a valid medical reason.

The decree cited a 2011 law that says employees will face “varying degrees of consequences that could lead to dismissal” if they do not take proper safety precautions.

They also added that those who are unable to get vaccinated for legitimate reasons will be transferred to a position that does not interact with the public as much.

Although many were surprised by the decree, the message is line with Pope Francis’s longtime stance towards vaccines. Last month, Pope Francis told that Italian press that choosing to vaccinate is “an ethical choice”.

“[Without vaccines], you are gambling with your health, with your life, but you are also gambling with the lives of others,” he said. Pope Francis received his vaccine in January.

The news quickly caused an uproar on social media, with many finding the decree to be overly harsh.

Many social media users finding the decree to be overly-controlling and contrary to Pope Francis’s general message of grace and mercy, and the right to individual freedom.

Of course, some people became worried about the implications of this requirement, their minds conjuring up images of dystopic futures. “Wait until the next stage, where those who choose not to or can’t have the ‘vaccine’ will be excluded from society,” wrote one frightened Twitter user. “Already happening in Israel, the Vatican and Indonesia.”

Some people, however, seemed to not have paid attention in social studies.

For example, controversial GOP Congressman Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina tweeted out that the Pope’s decree “doesn’t sound legal”.

“This doesn’t sound legal…” he tweeted. “One shouldn’t be forced against their will to be vaccinated. The vaccination is there for those who want it, and are in need of it due to medical vulnerabilities.”

While this may be a righteous philosophy, the Pope is, indeed, allowed to do this. As historian John Marshall told Cawthorn: “Sir, you are aware the Vatican is a sovereign city state, governed by an absolute monarch?” Marshall tweeted. “It’s not governed by American law…”

Still, the backlash prompted Vatican officials to amend their stance on mandatory vaccinations.

Cardinal Bertello’s office released a statement on Thursday night saying that “alternative solutions” would be given for those who don’t want a vaccine. Bertello’s office wrote that the decree had been “intended to allow a flexible and proportionate response to the balance between the health protection of the community and the freedom of individual choice”.

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