Thursday, November 23, 2017


Pope Mass: Ideological colonization erases freedom, memory
Pope Francis during Mass at the Casa Santa Marta

Pope Francis during Mass at the Casa Santa Marta
23/11/2017 11:58

(Vatican Radio) Removing freedom, erasing memory, indoctrinating young people are the three indicators of cultural and ideological colonization throughout the ages. Those were the Pope's words as he returned to the subject of cultural and ideological colonization this Thursday morning during his homily at the Casa Santa Marta, inspired once again by the readings of the week, which recount the persecution of King Antiochus Epiphanes against the Maccabees who are faithful to the law of the Fathers.

Look what happens to the people of God, "said Pope Francis," every time there is a new dictatorship on Earth that is a cultural or ideological colonization. "Think, the Pope noted, without making names, to what the dictatorships of the last century did in Europe and the indoctrination in schools that have arisen:”

"Freedom is taken away, history, people’s memory is deconstructed, and an educational system is imposed on young people. Everyone: Everyone does this. Even with kid gloves on, so: I know a country, a nation that asks for a loan, '(and the answer is) “I will give you the loan, but [in return] you, in your schools, have to teach this, and this, and this,'; books that have erased all that God has created and how he has created it. They erase the differences, eliminate history: from today you have to start thinking in this way. Those who do not think like this are cast aside, even persecuted. "

This has happened even in Europe, the Pope commented, where "those who opposed genocidal dictatorships were persecuted", were threatened, deprived of freedom, which then corresponds to "another form of torture." And along with freedom, ideological and cultural colonizations also eliminate memory, reducing it to "fables", "lies," old things. " Then, recalling the figure of the Maccabei's mother who exhorts her children to stand up to martyrdom, the Pope emphasized the unique role of women in the custody of memory and historical roots:

"Preserving memory: the memory of salvation, the memory of God's people, that memory that strengthened the faith of a people persecuted by this ideological-cultural colonization. Memory is the one thing that helps us triumph over every perverse education system. To remember. Remembering the values, remembering the History, remembering the things we learned. And then, there are Mothers.

The "feminine tenderness" and the "manly courage" of the Maccabees mother who renders the historical roots of the language of the Fathers strong in defense of her children and of the People of God, makes us think, said the Pope that "only the strength of women is capable of resisting cultural colonization. " They are the mothers and women, the guardians of memory, of their native dialect , "able to defend the history of a people," and, moreover, the Pope added, to "convey the faith" which "theologians will be able to explain".

"The people of God continued on by the strength of so many valiant women who have been able to give their children faith, and only they - mothers - can convey faith in a native dialect. Let the Lord always give us grace in the Church to have memory, not to forget the native language of fathers, and to have courageous women. "


John Nolan said...

No-one can argue with this, for the simple reason that the further one goes into it, the less sense it makes. I've read it three times, and am no more enlightened by what he means by 'ideological and cultural colonization' than I was last week.

Rood Screen said...

I agree with John Nolan. There is a distinction to be made between imperialism and colonialism. The former historically seeks to dominate other nations, while the latter often seeks to elevate them, but nether is intrinsically evil. I just hope the next pope is a rational Dominican, or at least a quiet Carthusian!

Carol H. said...

Father, just wanted to let you know that Father Dawid Kwiatkowski will be giving the homily on EWTN tomorrow!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

The article reports the Pope said, "Removing freedom, erasing memory, indoctrinating young people are the three indicators of cultural and ideological colonization throughout the ages."

That's great if you are a Church complaining about a secular dictatorship and how this is exemplified in an ancient text. However, this is often the accusation hurled at the Church by secular critics who say this is what the Church did and does to indigenous people throughout the world.

I cannot understand why the Holy Father is using the language and categories of Marxism to address totalitarian suppression of religion. (Okay, I think I do understand why...I'm just sayin'.)

We used to call this evangelization. I think I would have benefited more if the Pope had addressed how and why spreading the Gospel is not "cultural and ideological colonization."

God bless.

Anonymous said...

Evangelization isn't removing freedom, erasing memory, or indoctrinating young people.

Maybe he uses the language of Marxism because these behaviors are not limited to Marxists.

Anonymous 2 said...

For perspective consider this statement from one of the major founders of modern American conservatism:

In his Prospects for Conservatives (1989) (at pages 260-61) Russell Kirk states:

“Conservative people in politics need to steer clear of the Scylla of abstraction and the Charybdis of opportunism. So it is that folk of conservative inclination ought to decline the embraces of such categories of American political zealots and charlatans as I list below:

Those who demand that the National Parks be sold to private developers.

Those who declare that ‘the test of the market’ is the whole of political economy and of morals.

Those who fancy that foreign policy can be conducted with religious zeal on a basis of absolute rights and absolute wrongs. . . .

Those who assure the public that great corporations can do no wrong. . . .”

Moreover, when speaking about our relation with other countries and cultures, in the same book Kirk states (at pages 173-74):

“We Americans ought to cease to foment ‘a revolution of rising expectations’ in countries where folk have not forgotten the wisdom of their ancestors; we ought not to demand that the Javanese villager or the Sudanese peasant somehow adapt themselves and their economy to the American standard of living and the American political pattern. We ought not to swagger among the nations, bribing or bullying them to a sterile conformity with our particular pleasures. And the worst manifestation of American hubris, I find, has been our determination that all peoples ought to_think_ as American do. . . . [Regarding the “re-education” of Germany and Japan after the War] What we were asserting, in effect, was our right to remake the world in our own image. ‘Surrender to us, and we will annihilate your personality, and mould you afresh upon our perfect model.’ The wants of other nations are not monopolized by American techniques.”

Kirk then goes on to talk about his “amazement at the presumption of those Americans who are intolerably smug in their creed of superiority to all other ages and peoples.” And in his book “The Politics of Prudence” (1993) Kirk states (at page 221):

“[A] soundly conservative foreign policy, in the age which is dawning, should be neither ‘interventionist’ nor ‘isolationist’: it should be prudent. Its object should not be to secure the triumph everywhere of America’s name and manners, under the slogan of ‘democratic capitalism’, but instead the preservation of the true national interest, and acceptance of a diversity of economic and political institutions throughout the world. Soviet hegemony ought not to be succeeded by American hegemony. Our prospects in the world of the twenty-first century are bright – supposing we American do not swagger about the globe, proclaiming our omniscience and our omnipotence.”

There are resonances here with certain aspects of “Trumpism.” Moreover, what Kirk says about America could just as well be said about other nations with similar attitudes. The word “conservative” seems applicable for at least two reasons. First, there is conservatism in the sense of an emphasis upon self-restraint and prudence, and an abnegation of ideology or base motives such as greed or power. Second, the result is to aid in the conservation of diverse cultures in the world, something that, at least within reasonable and tolerable limits, is considered to be desirable.

To address Bee’s point about “the accusation hurled at the Church by secular critics,” accusations have also been made from within the Church itself. One thinks, for example, of advocates of indigenous peoples such as the Dominican friar Bartolomé de las Casas in the sixteenth century, who criticized their mistreatment at the hands of the conquistadores and Spanish colonial officials. Here the criticism seems to be that the intended evangelization was not pursued by appropriate methods and/or was used as a pretext to exploit the native peoples. So, while evangelization may be a desirable ideal, one has to attend to the practical conditions and circumstances in which it occurs.

John Nolan said...

Well, I suppose we can add 'cultural and ideological colonization' to 'self absorbed promethean neo-Pelagianism' and similar Bergoglianisms that are bandied about without being defined.

I've given up expecting clarity or consistency from this quarter.

Gene said...

Well, Anon 2, I like Kirk, as well. That is why I call myself a conservative rather than a Republican...a crowd I find I have less and less admiration least this particular generation of GOP. I will confess to a jingoistic streak, however...

This foreign policy of trying to export democracy to everywhere has failed time and time again...we have fought wars over it and killed people needlessly...I know first-hand. We have never learned quite how to do foreign policy. Although it is still very early in his Presidency, I have a feeling that Trump (in spite of his "Rocket Man" taunts, which I kinda' liked) is more open to a different approach. We'll see. I suspect Trump appears more volatile than he actually is.

TJM said...


We may not know how to do foreign policy, but truthfully, who does? FYI, the US has liberated more people in the history of the world than any other power.

Gene said...

TJM, This is certainly true about the US liberating more people than anyone in history. Maybe I was wrong to focus on only the Vietnam and some other post WWII episodes.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene and TJM:

I wonder if this may be a possible distinction that yields some kind of working principle: When the United States entered the First and Second World Wars, effectively winning them militarily, the U.S. was essentially entering a civil war being fought within the West and, in the case of the Second World War, fighting against a Western ideology, Fascism/Nazism. Similarly, when the U.S. fought the Cold War, at least to the extent it was fought within Europe, once again it was participating in type of “civil war” within the West and against a Western ideology, Communism.

But things get way more complicated, indeed mystifying, once the U.S. intervenes outside the Western orbit, and has to contend with non-Western ideas and/or cultures. Even during the Second World War, didn’t the war with Japan fall into this category to some extent? And similarly today with Islamic extremists.

In short, the farther we go beyond the relatively familiar into the increasingly alien, the more likely we are to misunderstand, miscalculate, and hence make mistakes.

Does this make some kind of sense?

rcg said...

Many of the people threatened by German expansion wanted to be free and worked to a significant degree the free themselves. I think it is fair to say the British would have won on their own if they had had a bit more separation and industrial base. So throwing in with a group who yearn to be free in their own land and did not also yearn to own Central Europe for their own was a proper match for allies and still is. Elsewhere, the people are more often than not involved with another faction for control and have cynically claimed affection for democracy to win the support of the US. Colonialism, if that is what that was, was an attempt to spread democracy where it had no soil to root. I do think it has been a benefit even in those very alien lands where people are now developing more civil discourse that may, generations from now, flower into some sort of peaceful society, hopefully in the same way that many countries in previous generations benefited from the British legal and education systems.

It may be that the Church spreads in this same way and can only happen among those people who are already searching for something that for them is as yet Unnamed. Those who do not seek it would not find it by forced revelation, but only by a prolonged low dose exposure that ends in a thunderclap.

TJM said...

Anonymous 2,

Yes your distinction makes sense to me. With Western Europe we were saving a values system, the Judeo Christian, from whence we came.