The evangelization of the Americas: an offense of the Church?

‘What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun’ (Eccles 1:9). Those who lived the years previous to the commemoration of the 5th Centenary of the Discovery of America (1992) were perhaps not surprised with the words that Francis pronounced a few days ago in Ecuador and Bolivia. At that time, a so-called ‘indigenous movement’, one that opposed the evangelization and civilizing efforts of Spain and Portugal in the American continent ever since the year 1492, took shape with deceitful accusations against the Church of massacres and ambitious conquests. For several months, the centenary commemorations were disturbed by an uproar promoted by some mysterious indigenous protestors… mysterious above all due to the pale color of their skin that revealed to any observer that their origins among the much touted ‘native peoples’ were more than dubious…

This way of deforming the truth about the evangelization of America, at that time, seemed to be a preparation for something that increasing appears to be taking on voluminous proportions in the ‘Continent of Hope’: a curious adaptation of the same old communist jargon to the socio-economic conditions of Latin-America.

We wouldn’t wish to judge the intention of Francis’ statements – for perhaps he lacks a clear understanding of the History of America during the past 500 years, and has also perhaps not taken sufficient care to be well informed about the angelic customs (sic!) of the indigenous peoples priory to the discovery, thus also oblivious of their history in the preceeding centuries. Perhaps he also ignores the extensive labor that was undertaken by countless missionaries, often at the price of their own blood, especially Franciscans and Jesuits, his brethren in habit, in the vast American territory.

We merely wish to explain to Catholic brothers and sisters the benefits of this immense evangelizing effort just as it was praised throughout the centuries by the most authoritative voices of the Church.

Moreover, we would like to call to mind that, although the Church is formed – in its visible dimension – by members who can err, the Church Herself is holy and the Spotless Bride of Christ. So, just as one can’t attribute the errors of an individual to the institution to which he belongs, even less so can this be done regarding an Institution that is divine, as is the Holy Catholic Church. Read more…

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2 thoughts on “The evangelization of the Americas: an offense of the Church?

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