Pope Francis apologises to Mexico
A debate has flared up in Spain after the Pope apologised for the "painful errors" committed by the Church in Mexico during the conquest of Latin America in a gesture marking the bicentenary of Mexican independence. The Spanish right, and above all Isabel Díaz Ayuso of the PP, interpreted the apology as an affront to Spain, a former colonial power. Commentaries in Spanish media reveal how much perceptions on this side and the other side of the Atlantic differ to this day.
That is not his job
El Mundo criticises that of all people a Spanish-speaking head of the church is hacking away at Spain's historical achievements:
“Bergoglio asks for forgiveness for 'social sins,' but moral responsibility concerns the individual and his or her current actions: no one inherits collective guilt for cruel episodes that may have occurred in the past. The Pope is entitled to ask forgiveness for the sexual abuse committed by the Mexican founder of the Legionaries of Christ. But it is sad to see a Spanish-speaking pope who doubts whether Spain has 'reconciled' participate in discrediting those who brought faith and language to Hispanic America - not to mention the reason of the Enlightenment, which has been waning lately.”
The persistent racism of the Spanish right
Author Gabriela Wiener vents her anger in eldiario.es:
“The Spanish right, not only Ayuso, calls the struggles of indigenous peoples for their rights - which provokes great fear among the right and its allies - 'indigenism'. There is a fundamental antipathy full of racism in this expression. ... It is the anti-indigenous right, racist, and opposed to any reappraisal of history, which each year celebrates October 12 [the day Columbus arrived in the Americas] as a Spanish national holiday, ignoring the objections from the ex-colonies who consider this an affront. It's as if the German state were to celebrate the beginning of the extermination of the Jews with a national holiday.”