In a letter addressed to Archbishop Rogelio Cabrera López, President of the Episcopal Conference of Mexico, Pope Francis has highlighted “very painful errors” committed in the past as he marked the 200th anniversary of Mexico’s independence, Vatican News reported.
Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador wrote a letter to Pope Francis on October 2, 2020, appealing for a public apology from the Catholic Church concerning atrocities committed against the indigenous population after the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in 1521.
Two hundred years ago, on September 28, 1821, the Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire from the Spanish Empire was ratified.
The 1824 Constitution of Mexico “permanently” enshrined Catholicism as the country’s official religion forcibly. But it was replaced in 1857 by a liberal constitution limiting the Church’s rights, which was itself replaced in 1917 by a constitution severely restricting the Church’s role in Mexico.
In his letter, dated September 16, Pope Francis said that we do not evoke the pains of the past to stay there, but to learn from them and to continue taking steps to heal the wounds, to cultivate an open and respectful dialogue that respects differences, and to build a much-desired fraternity, prioritizing the common good over particular interests, tensions, and conflicts.