Pope Francis once against spoke to a gathering of representatives of worldwide popular movements. He last met with them in Rome this past October, when they discussed social problems like unemployment and a lack of housing and land.
On this occasion, the Pope came to them. He delivered the most powerful and wide-ranging speech of his trip.
“Human beings and nature must not be at the service of money. Let us say no to an economy of exclusion and inequality, where money rules, rather than service. That economy kills. That economy excludes. That economy destroys Mother Earth.”
He denounced “new forms of colonialism” that leave entire groups of people as nothing but suppliers, impeding their ability to grow and develop.
“The new colonialism takes on different faces. At times it appears as the anonymous influence of mammon: corporations, loan agencies, certain ‘free trade’ treaties, and the imposition of measures of ‘austerity’ which always tighten the belt of workers and the poor.”
The Pope said that new and old forms of colonialism must be abandoned.
He did not overlook “offenses” committed by the Church during his condemnation of colonialism. The Pope apologized for crimes committed against local populations during the conquest of America.
“I wish to be quite clear, as was Saint John Paul II: I humbly ask forgiveness, not only for the offenses of the Church herself, but also for crimes committed against the native peoples during the so-called conquest of America.”
At the same time, Pope Francis said that it would be unfair to ignore the Christians who also left behind “works of human promotion and love” among Native populations. He also highlighted Latin America’s profound Christian identity.
The Pope mentioned that these things have happened in other parts of the world, as well. Even today, Christians are persecuted.
“This too needs to be denounced: in this third world war, waged peacemeal, which we are now experiencing, a form of genocide is taking place, and it must end.”
Pope Francis asked for the crowd to pray for him, but not everyone in attendance was Catholic. So he made a special request for those who do not believe.
…Think about me and send good vibes. Thank you.