Pope laments trampling of native people's
Tucson, Arizona | Published:
CITY — Pope Benedict XVI, who has been criticized by Indian rights groups,
said Wednesday the church does not gloss over the injustices that
accompanied the Christian colonization of Latin America and lamented that
indigenous peoples' basic rights were often trampled upon by missionaries.
"While we do not overlook the various injustices and sufferings which
accompanied colonization, the Gospel has expressed and continues to express
the identity of the peoples in this region and provides inspiration to
address the challenges of our globalized era," Benedict told
English-speaking pilgrims in St. Peter's Square as he talked about his trip
to Brazil earlier this month.
Benedict said that his visit to Brazil, his first papal voyage to Latin
America, "embraced not only that great nation, but all Latin America, home
to many of the world's Catholics." He described the trip as being "above
all, a pilgrimage of praise to God for the faith which has shaped their
cultures for over 500 years."
"Certainly, the memory of a glorious past cannot ignore the shadows that
accompanied the work of evangelizing the Latin American continent," the pope
Benedict's remarks to Italian-speaking pilgrims at his general audience in
the square were even stronger than the comments in English.
is not possible, indeed, to forget the sufferings and injustices inflicted
by colonizers on the indigenous populations, whose fundamental human rights
were often trampled on," Benedict said.
pontiff said he was making a "dutiful mention of such unjustifiable crimes"
and said some missionaries and theologians in the past had condemned them.