Father of Lies: The Pope's Genocidal Revisionism
Posted October 25, 2007
Almost no one in the West seems to have noticed the truly perverse and morally obscene remarks made by Pope Benedict in Brazil. But genocide scholar Adam Jones at CounterPunch noticed, and calls out Herr Ratzinger for his remarkable historical revisionism, which paints the genocidal destruction of America's pre-Columbus cultures as a "purifying" act which gave the natives just what they were "longing" for. In this outburst, the conservative cleric and former Hitler Youth far surpasses revisionists like David Irving in whitewashing mass murder, slavery and military aggression.
Ask Pope Benedict: When Does Genocide Purify? (CounterPunch)
Excerpts: On the last day of his visit, in the city of Aparecida, the Pope "touch[ed] on a sensitive historical episode," in the blandly understated language of an Associated Press dispatch (May 13). In other words, he ripped the bandages off a still-suppurating wound. According to the official text of Benedict's comments on the Vatican website, the Pope declared that "the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean" were "silently longing" to receive Christ as their savior. He was "the unknown God whom their ancestors were seeking, without realizing it ..." Colonization by Spain and Portugal was not a conquest, but rather an "adoption" of the Indians through baptism, making their cultures "fruitful" and "purifying" them. Accordingly, "the proclamation of Jesus and of his Gospel did not at any point involve an alienation of the pre-Columbian cultures, nor was it the imposition of a foreign culture."
So there we have it. The invasion and conquest of the Americas, which caused the deaths of upwards of 90 percent of the indigenous population, was something the Indians had been pining for all along. They weren't just "asking for it," as sexist cranks depict women as complicit in their own rapes. They were actually "longing" for it, since salvation and "purification" came with itâ€¦
Benedict's astounding comments attracted barely a flicker of media attention in the West -- almost all of it on the wire services, and some of it problematic in itself. A May 13 Reuters dispatch noted blithely that, contrary to Benedict's claims, "many Indian groups believe the conquest brought them enslavement and genocide." This is rather like writing that "many Jewish groups believe that the Nazi Holocaust brought Jews enslavement and genocide." The reality exists independently of the belief. As blogger Stentor Danielson points out: "In the real world, it's a basic historical fact that the Indians were enslaved. It's a basic historical fact that entire tribes were wiped out. The reason [that] 'many Indian groups believe' these historical facts is because people like Reuters' craven reporters won't admit when there's a fact behind the claims."