Pope begs forgiveness for sins and ‘offenses’ of church against indigenous of America.
Pope Francis apologized Thursday for the sins and “offenses” committed by the Catholic Church against indigenous peoples during the colonial-era conquest of the Americas
History’s first Latin American pope “humbly” begged forgiveness during an encounter in Bolivia with indigenous groups and other activists and in the presence of Bolivia’s first-ever indigenous president, Evo Morales.
Francis noted that Latin American church leaders in the past had acknowledged that “grave sins were committed against the native peoples of America in the name of God.” St. John Paul II, for his part, apologized to the continent’s indigenous for the “pain and suffering” caused during the 500 years of the church’s presence on the continent during a 1992 visit to the Dominican Republic.
“I humbly ask forgiveness, not only for the offenses of the church herself, but also for crimes committed against the native peoples during the so-called conquest of America,” he said to applause from the crowd.
Then deviating from his prepared script, he added: “I also want for us to remember the thousands and thousands of priests who strongly opposed the logic of the sword with the power of the cross. There was sin, and it was plentiful. But we never apologized, so I know ask for forgiveness. But where there was sin, and there was plenty of sin, there was also an abundant grace increased by the men who defended indigenous peoples.”
The apology was significant given the controversy that has erupted in the United States over Francis’ planned canonization of the 18th century Spanish priest Junipero Serra, who set up missions across California. Native Americans contend Serra brutally converted indigenous people to Christianity, wiping out villages in the process, and have opposed his canonization.
Church officials have long insisted Catholic missionaries protected indigenous peoples from the abuses of military colonizers and were often punished by European colonial powers as a result. Francis’ own Jesuit order developed missions across the continent, educating the indigenous and turning their communities into organized Christian-Indian societies. The Jesuits were expelled in the 17th century.
I have to give the Pope credit for being right. Most of the Roman Catholic priests and Jesuit missionaries held a gun in one hand, and a Bible in the other. People in the Spanish and Portuguese colonies were mostly converted to Catholicism by force, rather then convictions.
It is not possible to count the crimes of the Roman Catholic religion in the Latino World. Likewise in the former Portuguese colonies in Asia. The criminal priests removed evidences of their thefts and robberies, and wrote the official history of nations. They managed to portray them selves as men of noble character and saints. Some of the criminal “fathers” are still worshiped as “saints” by the converts.
Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.
The surprising comments of the claimed “Holy Father” rise more questions:
Why did it take 500 years before a leader of this religion did acknowledge these crimes?
And what is the present Pope going to do, more than just say “sorry”?
When a man has stolen something, he is supposed to return it to the owner. Most of the farmland in Latin America was stolen by the Roman Catholic Church, and the local farmers enslaved.
Will the Pope call for a massive land reform on the continent, where the Church secure the return of stolen properties?
A restoration fund is also required. The hero’s who died as martyrs resisting the Papist’s, must be honored by new memorials and museums. The cost should be entirely covered by the Vatican. To grant a couple of billion dollars for this purpose, would be a good beginning.
The last issue is the consequences related to the theological platform of the Church of Rome. The “Holy fathers” who arrived from Spain and Portugal, who oppressed the natives, seems to have been less than holy. The Pope’s who ordered the land grab and forced conversions, seems to have been lesser than infallible in moral issues.
What Francis is facing is the downfall of one of the core doctrines of the Vatican:
If Pope Francis is wrong on what took place in Latin America, than he is fallible. If Francis is right, the Pope’s of the past were surely fallible. The doctrine of Papal infallibility in moral issues has once and for always been proven to be a hoax.
It will be interested to see if Francis will be able to say more than “sorry”, but rather walk the talk. He can start the proces of repentance by resigning as Pope, and tell the whole World, not to ever again call him “Holy Father”.
Let us pray that this soul will not be wasted, but rather used to renounce some of the corrupt and fraudulent doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. May Jesus the Messiah grant the soul of Francis mercy, the day he resign from the papacy. Amen.
Written by Ivar