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Pope Bergoglio's explanation of Latin America's “independence”

by Carlo Marroni

The message is always against war, which has deeply marked the Latin American continent.

“We too experience a world torn by war and violence in our daily lives,” said Pope Francis, in one of the passages of his homily during the Mass celebrated in Quito, Ecuador, in the bicentennial park, which is dedicated to Ecuador's independence from Spain, 200 years ago.

“It would be superficial to suggest that the division and the hatred only concern the tensions between countries or social groups,” the Pope said. “In reality, the manifestations of that ‘widespread individualism' are what separate us and put one against the other, the result of the wound that is the sin in the hearts of people, the consequences of which come back to haunt society and the whole of creation.”

“Jesus sends us to this world that challenges us and our response is not to ignore it, to argue that we have no means or that reality is beyond us,” warned the pontiff. “Our response echoes the cries of Jesus and accepts the grace and the duty of unity.”

But Bergoglio evoked the liberation movements of the Latin American people two centuries ago: in the Mass that was celebrated by all of Ecuador's bishops and many from other countries, Francis paid homage to the Bicentennial of the Bolivarian Liberation, which gave back dignity and autonomy to practically all of South America, repeating “that cry for independence by the Hispanophone America, a cry born out of the awareness of the lack of liberty, the awareness of being oppressed and plundered, subjected to the interests of the powers that be.”

Another passage was noteworthy, especially because it was uttered in a land changed by the Spanish conquerors: “Evangelization does not allow for proselytizing,” rather, “proselytizing is a mockery of evangelization.”