Fratelli Tutti 220: Indigenous People

220. Indigenous peoples, for example, are not opposed to progress, yet theirs is a different notion of progress, often more humanistic than the modern culture of developed peoples. Theirs is not a culture meant to benefit the powerful, those driven to create for themselves a kind of earthly paradise.

I think this is accurate, pointing out the strengths of many indigenous cultures without ignoring the fact that every culture has flaws and problems. 

Intolerance and lack of respect for indigenous popular cultures is a form of violence grounded in a cold and judgmental way of viewing them. No authentic, profound and enduring change is possible unless it starts from the different cultures, particularly those of the poor. A cultural covenant eschews a monolithic understanding of the identity of a particular place; it entails respect for diversity by offering opportunities for advancement and social integration to all.

A useful way forward is to look at the virtues and values of cultures and see where mutual strength lies, and where separate virtues can build up what is weak in the other. Of course, that approach implies a respect across cultural lines–not always a feature in the minds of the powerful.

All citations of Fratelli Tutti (which can be found on this link) are © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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