Mexican priest: ‘From Spain we received … the true faith’

Mexico City, Mexico, Apr 4, 2019 / 02:10 pm (CNA).- Fr. Hugo Valdemar, the canon penitentiary of the Archdiocese of Mexico, said Monday that through Spanish missionaries we have received from Spain “the greatest thing we Mexicans have, the true faith.”

Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador wrote last month to Pope Francis and the King of Spain, Felipe VI, asking for an apology for the abuses committed during conquest of Mexico by Spanish Catholics in the 16th century.

Spain dismissed López Obrador’s request, while the Vatican recalled that Pope Francis, as well as his predecessors, have asked forgiveness for the “many and grave sins” committed during the conquest of the Americas.

In his April 1 column at the Mexican publication Contra Réplica, Fr. Valdemar noted that “we cannot fall into an historical Manecheism without doing ourselves profound harm: that the good ones were the original peoples, almost in the state of original grace, and the bad ones were the Spanish conquistadors who came to destroy great cultures.”

“The historic truth is very complex, the truth is that the Spaniards didn’t make the conquest but the indigenous did, the peoples subjugated by the Aztec empire, tired of the cruelty and exploitation they were subjected to.”

“This resulted in entire peoples such as the Tlaxcaltecas joining the handful of 200 Spaniards, along with other subjugated peoples joining together, to make possible what just the Spanish alone could never had done,” he said.

The priest acknowledged that “there is no doubt that there were also excesses in planting the faith, but in reality, the Church and the missionaries were the great protectors of the indigenous peoples.”

“Thanks to them, their dignity as persons was recognized, they were freed from slavery, their culture was protected and above all, thanks to the Spanish Catholic Church the greatest gift came to us, faith in Jesus Christ, the sole savior of men, and Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared, the model and star of evangelization, as John Paul II called her.”

Fr. Valdemar stressed that “it’s of no use to nurse and dwell on the wounds of the past, and the Nobel laureate in literature Octavio Paz has already spoken of the national trauma of not being able to properly integrate our dual origin: indigenous and Spanish.”

“From Spain we received through extraordinary missionaries such as Pedro de Gante, Motolinia, Fray Juan de Zumárraga, and Tata Vasco de Quiroga, the greatest thing we Mexicans have, the true faith, faith in Jesus Christ, and therefore access to eternal salvation, in addition to this very beautiful language we speak, Castilian Spanish, the suppression of the diabolical barbarism of human sacrifices and the darkness of idolatry, access to a superior culture, the occidental, of which we form a part today, and on the other hand we retain many of the values of the indigenous world, hospitality, a strong social sense and a sense of belonging, and the legacy of the monuments they left which today we show with pride to the millions of tourists who visit us.”

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  1. How is it possible to ‘apologise’ for something you did not do? Corporate style apology is meaningless.
    Human sacrifice on a fear inducing grand scale in certain pre-Columbian Meso American and South American cultures is well atested.
    The Spanish with much help from those oppressed effectively put a stop to that. Conversion to Catholicism was the means. A bad thing in the secularist mindset. Wish you were there? Think not.

  2. Hernán Cortés marched on Tenochitlan [Mexico City] with an army of approx 500 Spaniards and several thousand Tlaxcala warriors. Tlaxcala an independent confederation had warred with the Aztecs to prevent their seizing prisoners for human sacrifice as they were wont throughout Mexico subjecting weaker tribes. Cortés initially greeted by Montezuma as a god realized the horror of daily human sacrifice to the sun god and his responsibility as a Catholic noted in correspondence and accounts in the Spanish archives Madrid [not to dismiss his intent for fame and fortune]. He returned 1521 defeated the Aztecs with assistance from the Tenochitlan warriors and other natives subject to Aztec sacrifice without which he most likely would have failed. The ‘conquest’ may also be considered a war of deliverance of non Aztec native tribes from being subject to human sacrifice. At Montezuma’s coronation several hundred thousand reportedly had their hearts cut out on the city’s blood soaked pyramids. Today tourist attractions subjects of wonder and reason for condemnation of Spain for the oppression of a wonderful culture. Considering if that culture of human sacrifice persisted and what were his ancestral blood lines perhaps Pres Obrador wouldn’t be sitting in the presidential palace.

  3. Reparations from Spain, for terminating Aztec human sacrifice on a Hitlerian scale? Ninety-nine percent (99% !) of the victorious army was indigenous—not Spanish at all. Duh.

    Historian Warren Carroll reports that Cortes’s army (lately reinforced up to possibly 1000 Spanish, by three shiploads of fighting men sent from King Charles) was joined by more than 20,000 Indian allies, “a number that in the ensuing months grew to over 100,000.”

    Cortes is reported to have offered repeatedly to negotiate, “but the Mexicans would have none of it…[The house-to-house battle raged for 93 days and perhaps a quarter million perished.] On August 13 [1521] the current emperor, Cuauhtemoc, was captured. He asked Cortes to kill him, but the conquistador praised his bravery and said he would not do it” (A History of Christendom, Vol. 4: The Cleaving of Christendom, p. 30).

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