This continues the monthly series of videos spotlighting the Holy Father’s prayer intentions. For July, he asks:
That indigenous peoples, whose identity and very existence are threatened, will be shown due respect.
A reflection on the topic:
We are all familiar with the history of indigenous peoples, those people who already live in the land when immigrants arrive—the Native Americans in this country. In their encounters with other peoples, they often lost their land, their culture, and through war and disease, their very lives. Today many suffer terribly from poverty and its accompanying problems of violence and addiction. Native peoples in Latin America continue to be threatened as others push into their territory looking for cheap land. When he visited Bolivia in 2015, Pope Francis admitted that members of the Church were party to these injustices. He repeated words of Pope St. John Paul II, saying, “I kneel before God and implore forgiveness for the past and present sins of her sons and daughters.” He also reminded people that there were “thousands of priests and bishops who strongly opposed the logic of the sword with the power of the Cross and who defended the rights of indigenous peoples.” We are called to follow their example today by showing respect to indigenous peoples and defending their rights. Pope Francis continued: “To our brothers and sisters in the Latin American indigenous movement, allow me to express my deep affection and appreciation of their efforts to bring peoples and cultures together where each group preserves its own identity by building together a plurality which does not threaten but rather reinforces unity.” Unity amid diversity—this is what the Church strives to achieve. It is the work of the Spirit which enriches the Church and society with the gifts of native peoples. We ask the Holy Spirit to continue this great work.
This months’ video is below.