Rome's Mexican Saint
The Pope's recent visit to Mexico was intended to reconcile "Mexico's ten
million surviving Indians to Catholicism by canonising Juan Diego, one of their
own, as the patron saint of the country". Rome claims that in 1531 Juan Diego
saw a vision of the Virgin Mary as a dark-skinned Indian. When the local Spanish
archbishop demanded proof of the vision, Diego opened his cloak to reveal the
image of the Virgin imprinted upon it. This was the fantastic story used by
the Roman Church to make the Aztecs change from their goddess Tonantzin to
Mary the mother of Jesus - thus leading them from one awful darkness to another.
This Papal visit, said Mexico's Roman bishops, was "a recognition of Indians
as people", and the canonisation "can help us recapture the Indian origins
and roots of our people" - which Rome deems necessary because her influence
in indigenous areas has been diminished by a shortage of priests, the spread
of Protestantism and the Indians' belief that the Roman Catholic Church was
as much their enemy as the secular state.
The visit was also used to develop ties between Rome and Mexico. Until President
Vicente Fox bowed before an image of the Virgin Mary prior to receiving the
presidential sash two years ago, Mexican presidents never made any public manifestation
of their faith, considering it a violation of the separation between church
and state. President Fox also kissed the Pope's ring at the welcome ceremony,
causing one newspaper to declare, "Mexico hands itself to John Paul". The Roman
Church boldly seized the opportunity to tell Mexico she must reinforce church-state
relations by legislation.
One Rome Catholic news release noted it as significant that the Pope flew
to Mexico in an airliner named Messenger of Hope. If ever there was
a misnomer, this is it. The religion of Rome and the hope of the gospel are
mutually exclusive. May the day speedily come when the eyes of the Mexican
Indians - indeed of all Mexicans - will be opened. Then they will not only
see how Rome has been duping them for centuries, but will also look to Jesus,
the hope of His people, and be delivered from final despair, the terrible consequence
of Rome's teaching.