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Defend indigenous cultures, Pope urges the faithful

Catholic World News - September 19, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI called for new efforts to evangelize the indigenous peoples of the world, as well as to protect the dignity of their cultures, in a message marking the 100th anniversary of the encyclical Lacrimabili Statu Indorum, by St. Pius X.

With that encyclical, Pope Benedict said, St. Pius X called for energetic preaching of the Gospel to indigenous peoples, combined with “the constant promotion of their dignity and progress.” The need for such efforts remains today, the Holy Father said.

In his message, conveyed to Archbishop Rubén Salazare Gómez of Bogota, Pope Benedict called upon the faithful to be respectful of indigenous cultures, to “encourage real knowledge of their history and their way of life, as well as to strengthen their participation in all the milieus of society and of the Church.” He urged efforts to protect the lands of these people, and to protect them from the influence of alien ideologies.”

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