Monday, May 14, 2007

Latin America's Indigenous Offended by Pope

The Pope made a number of gaffes that made his trip to Brazil a collosal failure. But I doubt few are as indefensible and disrespectful to the people of Latin America as his comments on the region's indeigenous people and the "purification" that came with European colonialism. For the sake of the Catholic Church's future in Latin America, the Pope would have been better off staying home.

Outraged Indian leaders in Brazil said on Monday they were offended by Pope Benedict's "arrogant and disrespectful" comments that the Roman Catholic Church had purified them and a revival of their religions would be a backward step.

In a speech to Latin American and Caribbean bishops at the end of a visit to Brazil, the Pope said the Church had not imposed itself on the indigenous peoples of the Americas. They had welcomed the arrival of European priests at the time of the conquest as they were "silently longing" for Christianity, he said.

Millions of tribal Indians are believed to have died as a result of European colonization backed by the Church since Columbus landed in the Americas in 1492, through slaughter, disease or enslavement.

Many Indians today struggle for survival, stripped of their traditional ways of life and excluded from society.

"It's arrogant and disrespectful to consider our cultural heritage secondary to theirs," said Jecinaldo Satere Mawe, chief coordinator of the Amazon Indian group Coiab.
Priests blessed conquistadors as they waged war on the indigenous peoples, although some later defended them and many today are the most vociferous allies of Indians.
"We repudiate the Pope's comments," Tuxa said. "To say the cultural decimation of our people represents a purification is offensive, and frankly, frightening. "I think (the Pope) has been poorly advised."

Even the Catholic Church's own Indian advocacy group in Brazil, known as Cimi, distanced itself from the Pope.

"The Pope doesn't understand the reality of the Indians here, his statement was wrong and indefensible," Cimi advisor Father Paulo Suess told Reuters. "I too was upset."

Whole thing



Blogger jsb said...

"...made his trip to Brazil a collosal failure."

Ha! On almost every account, the trip was a success. You are not only naive, easily-suckered, but also quick to over state or exaggerate.

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The pope is just a fascist with silly views and a silly hat.

1:54 AM  
Blogger The Conservative Manifesto said...

Venezuelans protest opposition TV channel closure

CARACAS (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of protesters on Saturday denounced President Hugo Chavez's plans to close an opposition television channel, accusing their leader of maiming Venezuelan democracy as he forges a socialist state.

4:47 PM  
Blogger leftside said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:24 PM  
Blogger leftside said...

Are you serious JSB? The Vatican radio said there'd be a million people at the big mass. There was maybe 150,000. Nevermind the snafu about excommunicating legislators, which his aides had to correct later in the official record (but I thought the Pope was unfallible?) - or the many remarks that left the young and poor cold.

I think the onus is on you to say how "On almost every account, the trip was a success."

Mark I would be curious as to your thoughts on the matter at hand. But as for RCTV, they are not being shut down. They can continue to broadcase on satellite or cable. If you are unfamiliar with the events leadin up this the non-renewal of their public broadcasting license, I suggest reading this account of the way the station managers behaved at the critical hour of the military coup.

Station managers openly censored any actual reporting of the momentus events happening on the street. There was only one party line allowed to be aired, which was manufactured beforehand and totally false. No other information was allowed to be put out there. RCTV was thereby an active participant in a coup. Its offices were even used as a meeting space for the coupsters. That is like CBS being in total cahoots with a coup in the US - lying, covering up the truth and trying to distract the people with cartoons and movies at a time when the country needed real information. News channel executives would be tried for treason if it happened here.

12:25 PM  

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