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.