Vatican City, Aug 3. Pope Francis today criticized the ideologies that threaten the history and traditions of ancestral peoples and asked the Church not to repeat mistakes and build unity, “respecting and valuing the diversity of each people and each person.”
He said it during the audience this Wednesday held in the Paul VI Hall of the Vatican and recalling his trip to Canada, made between July 24 and 30, a journey of “memory, reconciliation and healing” that he described as a “penitential pilgrimage” to “ask forgiveness from the indigenous peoples who suffered for so many Christians, including many Catholics”.
“Faced with the ideologies that threaten peoples trying to erase their history and their traditions, the Church feels challenged and does not want to repeat mistakes. Her mission in the world is to announce the Gospel and build unity, respecting and valuing the diversity of each people and of each person,” said Francisco, during the greetings in Spanish to the faithful present in the audience.
Moments earlier, and in Italian, he recalled how in Canada “the colonizing mentality is presenting itself today in various forms of ideological colonization, which threaten the traditions, history and religious ties of peoples, flattening differences, concentrating only on the present and often neglecting the duties towards the weakest and most fragile”.
“It is therefore about recovering a healthy balance, a harmony between modernity and ancestral cultures, between secularization and spiritual values,” he argued.
The pope assured that “in Canada a journey has begun to write a new page, an important page, of the path that the Church has been following for a long time together with the indigenous peoples.”
“It was a penitential pilgrimage. There were many moments of joy, but the meaning and tone of the whole was one of reflection, repentance and reconciliation,” he added.
Finally, he wished that “the indigenous peoples of Canada be an example for all native populations not to close, but to offer their indispensable contribution to a more fraternal humanity.” EFE