23 January 2018
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  • » 12/12/2017, 20.52


    Pope calls on Latin America to defend the diversity of its peoples

    In the Mass on the liturgical feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Guadalupe, Francis calls for resistance against the "homogenisation that ends up imposing – through attractive slogans – a single way of thinking, of being, of feeling, [and] of living."

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis celebrated Mass on the liturgical feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Guadalupe. In his homily, the Holy Father said that Latin America is called "not only to grow, but above all in our time, to defend courageously" the rich diversity of its peoples, from all attempts at the "homogenisation that ends up imposing – through attractive slogans – a single way of thinking, of being, of feeling, [and] of living.”

    On this occasion, Francis was inspired by the Magnificat, the Song of Mary, and the Benedictus, the Song of Zechariah.

    "I would like to emphasise these two aspects: Elizabeth, the woman under the sign of infertility and under the sign of fertility". She is “the sterile woman, with all that this implied to the religious mindset of her time, which regarded sterility as a divine punishment due to her sin or that of her husband. A sign of shame in her own flesh or because she considered herself guilty of a sin she did not commit or because she felt very small because she was not up to what was expected of her."

    Sterility "becomes deep and ends up paralysing for a lifetime" so that one can feel the shame because one feels small. Latin American bishops see this feeling in “indigenous and African-American communities, which are often not treated the same way and with the same dignity; in many women who are excluded due to their sex, race or socio-economic status; in young people who receive low quality education and do not have the opportunity to progress in their studies or enter the labour market to develop and build a family; in many poor people, the unemployed, migrants, displaced, landless peasants, who are trying to survive in the informal economy; in the children victims of child prostitution."

    However, next to Elizabeth, the sterile woman, "we contemplate Elizabeth, the astonished and fecundated woman. She is the first to recognise and bless Mary. It is she who in her old age experienced in her own life the fulfillment of the promise made by God. The one who could not have children carried in her womb the precursor of salvation. In her, we realise that God’s dream is neither sterility nor stigmatising or filling his children with shame, but bringing in them and out of them a song of blessing."

    “[I]in the midst of this dialectic of fecundity-sterility, let us look at the richness and cultural diversity of our peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean. This is a sign of the great richness that we are called upon not only to cultivate but, especially in our time, to defend courageously from all homogenising attempts”.

    “In short, our fertility requires us to defend our peoples from an ideological colonisation that obliterates the richest among them, be they indigenous, African-American, Métis, peasant, or suburban.”

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