Tuesday, October 19

Pope Francis asks Mexico for forgiveness for the “sins committed” in the Spanish Conquest


Mexico City

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Mexico celebrates from the Zócalo Square the 200 years of the nation’s independence after receiving a letter from the Pope Francisco in which, finally, the Vatican asks forgiveness for the “sins” committed by the Catholic Church in the Mesoamerican country. In the letter, the highest authority of the Church assures that “both my predecessors and myself have asked forgiveness for personal and social sins, for all actions or omissions that did not contribute to evangelization.”

“Both my ancestors and I have asked forgiveness for personal and social sins”

The Vatican head of state has acknowledged in writing that there were actions that caused the deep pain and suffering that took place in the New Spain. (Cortés asked the king to send friars to teach Christianity to the natives after the conquest of Mexico Tenochtitlan). The pope’s letters were read from the mouth of Rogelio Cabrera, President of the Mexican Episcopate. The Pope implored not to evoke the pains of the past to stay in them, but to learn. “Continue taking steps in order to heal the wounds, to cultivate an open and respectful dialogue between differences and to build the long-awaited fraternity, prioritizing the common good over particular interests, tensions and conflicts,” the letter continues.

However, the highest representative goes to Mexico not only for the Conquest, but for the 175 minors who suffered sexual abuse. In a report released in December two years ago, the Legionaries of Christ admitted these deplorable acts that occurred between 1941 and 2019. Some 60 crimes were committed by Martial Maciel, founder of the congregation.

Upside in the harmony of the president with the Pope

Within the celebration of the 200 years of the Independence of Mexico from Spain, from the Plaza del Zócalo, Lopez Obrador He has confessed that he maintains a good relationship with the Catholic Church. He wanted to define Pope Francis as “a true Catholic and defender of the poor” praising the sending of the letter in which the Holy Father acknowledges the mistakes made in the past by the Church. During the celebrations for the bicentennial, AMLO referred to Father Hidalgo “who took the Virgin of Guadalupe as a symbol of struggle and hope for independence from Spain.” Angelo Sodano, sent by Pope Francis, who occupies the emeritus dean of the College of Cardinals of the Catholic Church, referred at the same event to the Iguala Plan, who considered New Spain as a sovereign country, and also named the figure of Miguel Hidalgo, one of the Fathers of the Nation.

The relations of the Mexican Episcopal Conference with the Government of Mexico -in the second country with the most Catholics in the world-, were not, until now, the most cordial since President López Obrador demanded more energy from the Pope to denounce what he calls “growing neoliberalism.” The president’s repeated request for the Church to apologize for “the disgraceful atrocities” that, in his opinion, indigenous peoples suffered 500 years ago. A demand that he also made to Spain in the figure of our King Felipe VI, a few weeks before, with the same message and with the same intention.

Andrés Manuel López-Obrador (AMLO, as he is known in the sister nation) sent an explicit letter last October in which he questioned the Pope: “Don’t you think that instead of affecting the Catholic Church, a reference in honor of Hidalgo and Morelos would exalt it and Would it cause the happiness of the majority of Mexicans? ». The document was delivered to the Vatican by Beatriz Gutierrez Müller, wife of the Mexican president, visiting Europe and cordially received by the Holy Father.

“Don’t you think that instead of affecting the Catholic Church a reference in honor of Hidalgo y Morelos would exalt it and cause the happiness of the majority of Mexicans?”

In 1810 the excommunication edict of Father Miguel Hidalgo Costilla, initiator of the Mexican War of Independence, was promulgated by the bishop of Valladolid and also, later, in 1811, the priest was demoted from the secular jurisdiction. Jose maria morelos and pavon, his former disciple. Both were sentenced to death for their participation in the revolutionary armed uprising.

Even the Zapatistas took a stand, whose EZLN (Zapatista army of national liberation) went so far as to affirm in a statement that they did not believe that Spain or the Catholic Church should apologize for the conquest of Mexico-Tenochtitlan that occurred between 1519 and 1521. Last November, during the last visit of the Spanish minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha González Laya avoided apologizing for the Spanish Conquest and insisted on the need to build bilateral relations “on the past, but looking to the future.”

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