Thursday, May 24, 2007

Welcome back to reality, Benedict

The pope has apparently woken up from the slumber he was in when he was in Brazil last week. Taking back previous comments about indigenous peoples, he has now said that it is “not possible to forget the suffering and the injustices inflicted by colonizers against the indigenous population, whose fundamental human rights were often trampled.” This comes in the wake of his claims last week that American indigenous peoples had been "silently longing" for Christianity when Europeans arrived, and that nothing was "imposed" on the indigenous populations.

While it's not an open "mea culpa," it's nice to know one of his advisors finally got a hold of a history book and explained to Benedict what actually happened.

...UPDATE - Check out Randy's post for quotations on what the colonizers actually did (and I'd add that, while Bartolome de las Casas' writings were very political, designed to spur outrage, and thus at times embellished, they are still ultimately based on things Casas saw).