ICYMI: Pope Francis Apologized to Indigenous Peoples for Colonization

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Pope Francis has never been very conventional, and on Thursday, he once again proved just how ‘bout it he is. He apologized for colonization and said he didn’t want to ignore the church’s role in the crimes committed against indigenous populations. “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,” he said in front of Bolivian President Evo Morales, according to The Associated Press, at the Expo Feria Exhibition Center in Santa Cruz de la Cierra. In 1992, St. John Paul II apologized to the indigenous community on a visit to the Dominican Republic.

The pope went on to praise members of the indigenous community for keeping their culture alive and co-existing. “…each group preserves its own identity by building together a plurality which does not threaten but rather reinforces unity,” he said. “Your quest for an interculturalism, which combines the defense of the rights of the native peoples with respect for the territorial integrity of states, is for all of us a source of enrichment and encouragement.”

He said many more quotable things like this in his speech, which can be read in full here.