Pope Apologizes to Mexico’s Indigenous Peoples

Pope Francis
AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

Pope Francis, while on an Obama-style apology tour, asked for forgiveness from the indigenous people of Mexico because of the way they have been “excluded from society.”

The comment from Pope Francis, 79, came during his tour of Mexico’s most southern state of Chiapas. The Pope cited a litany of sins against the people including government corruption, colonialism, looting of natural resources and global warming, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

“On many occasions, in a systematic and organized way, your people have been misunderstood and excluded from society,” the Pope said after he cited Popol Vuh, an ancient Mayan text.

“Some have considered your values, culture and traditions to be inferior. Others, intoxicated by power, money and market trends, have stolen your lands or contaminated them. How sad this is,” he continued.

Chiapas is considered to be the cultural center for the indigenous people of Mexico, ValleyCentral.com reported. The Pope presided over a Mass where he spoke in three native languages of the people. The languages had to first be approved by the Vatican before being used in a papal Mass.

The pontiff cited abuses of the people by his own church during the period of colonial exploration and expansion where much of South and Central America was taken over by nations dominated by Catholicism.

“How worthwhile it would be for each of us to examine our conscience and learn to say, ‘Forgive me!’,” the Pope continued.

Chiapas is reported to be the least Catholic state in Mexico. While still a majority, only 58 percent of Chiapans are loyal to the Catholic Church, as compared to 82 percent of all Mexicans. Mexico is the second most populace Catholic nation, behind Brazil.

Later on Tuesday, the Pope heads to the drug cartel infested state of Michoacan. Breitbart Texas has provided extensive coverage of the murders and other acts of cartel related violence that occurs in this Mexican state as a variety of drug cartels battle for power and control.

During his Mass in Chiapas, the Pope said the indigenous people had a deep appreciation for nature and that they had much to teach the rest of the world. “We can no longer remain silent before one of the greatest environmental crises in world history,” he stated.

Valley Central reported that the indigenous communities have legal rights to much of Mexico’s forest and desert lands. Mining and logging interests have long fought them over access have reportedly left areas polluted or denuded.

The Pope will conclude his visit to Mexico with a stop in the war-torn region just south of the American border with Texas. He will travel to Ciudad Juarez where factions of the Gulf Cartel have carried out war-like gun battles with Mexican authorities and each other in a struggle for power and control of both the flow of drugs and human cargo into the United States.

Breitbart Texas began its Cartel Chronicles series to bring to light the warzone the state of Tamaulipas has become. Murder, kidnapping, and raging gun battles have become commonplace occurrences in this region.

Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.