In a speech to Latin American and Caribbean bishops at the end of a visit to ... Brazil, the Pope said the Church had not imposed itself on the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
Dear Pope, put down that crack pipe. I suggest tying out Richard Mann's highly readable 1491 to get a clearer view of just what the Spanish conquistadors did when they visited and, uh, conquered, the new world.
The pope was really trying to bring a message that the gap between the rich and poor is wrong, and he also just had to stick his nose in Hugo Chavez's grill. Now Chavez may deserved the criticism - or at least some of it. However, the dopey Pope's remarks put Chavez squarely on the side of the native Latin Americans. So much for the Pope making inroads in public sentiments.
This dust-up is oddly similar to the bloviatings of BushCo in their attempts to isolate and even overthrow Chavez. Some of the reasons might be correct (NOT counting the coup attempts), but the actions have pushed Chavez ever more into a dictatorial role. How's that for a sel-fulfilling prophesy? Plus, as sky-high gas prices benefiting the oil barons, Chavez also reaps the windfall.
So the next time the Pope - or BushCo - wants to take on Chavez, they ought to make damned sure they are keeping their own asses clean. And read up on local history.