Following the visit of Pope Francis to Canada, where he made a penance pilgrimage to seek forgiveness from indigenous communities for the misdeeds committed by some religious congregations who were in charge of residential schools, Bishop Emeritus of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Cardinal Felipe Arizmendi assures that what happened in Canada is not an isolated incident,
In his weekly articles published on various Catholic pages, the Mexican Cardinal explained that during the 19th and 20th centuries, the Canadian government established 139 residential schools across the country, to assimilate Swadeshi into the dominant culture, as they felt that their way of life was very backward. Of the 139 schools, about 40 were assigned to Christian institutions, most of which were from the Catholic Church.
This led – the cardinal continued to explain – to some 150,000 children were separated from their parents, often without their consentFor a national policy of forced assimilation which sought to westernize their customs.
“They prevented them from speaking in their native language, they gave them food they were not accustomed to, they did not treat them well in their illnesses and because of all this, thousands of people killed criminallyBury them in community graves”, he explained.
the same thing happens in mexico
Felipe Arizmendi, who carried on his episcopal ministry for more than 25 years in the state of Chiapas, serving pastoral to indigenous communities, condemned that he too Something similar has been done in Mexico.Although perhaps not with the same brutality.
“In our countries Public schools have teachers who forbid indigenous people to use their languages, dress according to their traditions, and impose a culture very different from their own. Most teachers are unaware of the richness of these ancient cultures, they underestimate and ridicule them.
assured that the same Happens in towns and citiesWhere Swadeshi insists on hiding their identity, so as not to be offended and not discriminated against.
From your point of view, This has led to the disappearance of some native languages.“Because the dominant society does not take them into account, does not value them, and cultures have given life to generations.”
it happens in church too
Cardinal Arizmendi reported that when he was a parish priest in the Otomi community, Catechists didn’t want him to learn their languageBecause they believed it was no longer worth it, that it no longer served, that it was a thing of the past, and they themselves prevented their children from speaking it, so as not to discriminate against them.
“It is still happening in many places. There are priests with similar attitudes, who do not allow, for example, parts of Mass to be celebrated in those native languages., I accompany a group of translators in Nahuatl and Otomi, and the constant complaint is that the parish priests do not allow these languages to be used in the church”.
Too It is a pity that there are cases of discrimination in the seminary and formation house for religious, since students coming from these cultures are not taken into account. “As if they didn’t exist and there was nothing to contribute to the community.”
he even said There have been indigenous priests who do not want to be parish priests of the people of their cultureHide your original identity and do nothing to promote your native cultures and prevent them from disappearing.
a sacramental church
However, he said, everything is not bad, because In some madrassas in diocese with a significant indigenous population, it is essential that all students know those cultures. and learn to speak in one of those languages as a condition of being ordained priest.
“Some people have a hard time living in an indigenous population, with many borders, not in a priest’s house, and living in another culture and learning their own language; Over time they value it and appreciate it”,
These – the cardinal remarked – are small efforts, but very valuable Let us be a sacramental church in those citiesAnd we must not continue to contribute to the disappearance of many native cultures.
called the mexican cardinal Do not despise or discriminate Indigenous peoples, “They have other values, another way of being, to think, to relate. Let us encourage them to know, value them, respect them, and give them their place in the community and the church.”