From Associated Press:
Brazil Indigenous Groups Slam Pope for Saying They Were ‘Silently Longing’ to Be Christians
By VIVIAN SEQUERA
Associated Press Writer
SAO PAULO, Brazil — Indian rights groups are criticizing Pope Benedict XVI for insisting that Latin American Indians wanted to become Christian before European conquerors arrived centuries ago.
The pope said Sunday that pre-Columbian people of Latin America and the Caribbean were seeking Christ without realizing it.
“Christ is the savior for whom they were silently longing,” Benedict told a regional conference of bishops in Brazil.
But Paulo Suess, an adviser to Brazil’s Indian Missionary Council, said Monday that the comments fail to account for the fact that Indians were enslaved and killed by the Portuguese and Spanish settlers who forced them to become Catholic.
Benedict “is a good theologian, but it seems he missed some history classes,” said Suess, whose council is supported by the Roman Catholic Church.
See also here.
POPE Francis visited inmates at Bolivia’s Palmasola prison yesterday after apologising for his church’s “crimes” against indigenous people on Thursday. Speaking at the second Social World Meeting of Social and People’s Movements, he said: “I humbly ask forgiveness, not only for the offences of the church herself but also for crimes committed against the native peoples during the so-called conquest of America”: here.