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Thursday, May 24, 2007

No Apology Necessary

In the wake of the Pope's visit to Brazil come the usual complaints from self appointed "rights groups" his Holiness failed to make proper obeisance to a pillar of faith of the modern left: that Christianity was forced upon the hapless indigenous peoples by brutal, imperialistic missionaries. Not so, says the Pope: while there were regrettable excesses committed by some they do not negate the good and glory of the Church's evangelism in South America.

In our age it is hard to realize how seriously people took religion four hundred years ago. Catholic or Protestant, Christian belief was literally a matter of life and death to the faithful. It was not an uncommon occurrence during the reformation a simple farmer, for example, going willingly to the stake over matters many now would consider minor doctrinal issues. The missionaries in South America, who travelled and evangelized at considerable risk to themselves, also saw Christianity as a life and death issue, especially for the Indians. They sincerely believed if the indigenous heathen were not brought into the embrace of the Holy Church and their souls saved, they would be consigned to eternal damnation. The missionaries were not engaging in, to put it in lefty twaddle, imperialistic and cultural hegemony, rather they were following our Lord's injunctive to his disciples. No doubt some of them were a bit the mercenary along with missionary but the stupendous success of the Church's evangelization speaks not only to how effectively and zestfully her missionaries followed Christ's command but also to how eager their charges, the Indians, were to embrace the Good News delivered to them.

All in all, despite her many problems, the Church in Central and South America is in good repair, better than in Europe or even North America. Those courageous missionaries' efforts so many years ago are in a large way responsible. People with strong Christian beliefs are far more resistant to the enticements of paradise on earth the Marxist religion promises and that is the real reason for the lefty furor. While the Roman Catholic Church certainly has made mistakes in the past and should by all means address them whenever she can, there is no reason whatsoever for her to apologize to the so-called rights advocates whose true mission, despite all blather to the contrary, is establishing an atheistic collectivist dictatorship.

Update: Bro. James writes:

You might also want to consider the example of the North American Martyrs, whose feast is October 19. Twelve Jesuit priests from France were murdered by various Indian tribes in Quebec and upstate New York over the course of 40 years in the 17th century. Many of them were aristocrats; all had the equivalent of doctorates and some were poets of note. They competed against thousands of applicants in Europe to win the right to travel to the New World and preach to hostile savages who ended up killing 90 percent of them. The Iroquois chewed off St. Isaac Jogues' fingers so that he couldn't say Mass, then doused him with boiling water in a mockery of baptism and left him to die in the snow. He survived and was sent back to France, where he spent four years petitioning Rome for permission to return. Once he got back to Canada he went straight to the same village, where the savages tortured him for two full days. An Indian eyewitness who later converted testified that the tribesmen were so astonished at his bravery that they eviscerated him and fought one another to eat his heart after he was dead.

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