AMERICA/BRAZIL - Indigenous Peoples: "no longer the object of our love, but the protagonists of their own history"

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Luziania (Agenzia Fides) - "The identity of Cimi is the alliance with indigenous peoples, so that they do not lose their identity": said the President of the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI), the Bishop of the Prelature of Xingu ( PA), His Exc. Mgr. Erwin Krautler during the opening Mass of the Congress, which celebrates 40 years of the organization, in Luziânia (GO), Brazil. The Congress which started on Tuesday 20, brings together 250 people from across the country, to address the theme "Roots, Identity, Mission," recalling the history of CIMI, an organization of the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops (CNBB). According to Mgr. Erwin, the worst thing that can happen to a nation is lose its identity, for this reason in its 40 years of existence, CIMI has helped indigenous peoples to preserve their identity. The President added that, in this period, CIMI has learned a lot from the natives: "Gone are the days when we worked in favor of indigenous peoples, without including them in our journey. They are not the object of our love, but the protagonists of their own history, and we are their ally."
The note sent to Fides Agency by CIMI also refers to Bishop Erwin’s response to the criticism addressed to CIMI: "We have never affiliated to any faction or political party. Our flag is the life of indigenous peoples. Thus we have the courage to face an anti-indigenous policy, which is still in force in the country."
The Congress programme, which ends on Friday, November 23, includes some moments dedicated to the memory of the 40 years of CIMI. Today, 22 November, the participation of the Bishop emeritus of Goiás (GO), His Exc. Mgr. Tomas Balduino, one of the founders of CIMI is expected, who celebrates his 90 years of age. The closing ceremony provides for the approval of a "Manifesto of the 40 years of CIMI." (CE) (Agenzia Fides 22/11/2012)