Letters — 05 October 2019
Elogio Itzab vs Father Scott Giuliani

Dear Editor,

In his recent answer to my letter, Father Scott Giuliani, SOLT, has given the impression that the Inquisition never happened, that it was just one big misunderstanding, a lie that has been said so often that people tend to believe it.

I did not intend to answer him on this point, since it would just become a back-and-forth, a yes-or-no, true-or-false. But then, I decided to put forth my case.

Before this, though, I have to say a few words to you good folks out there. It has never been my intention to insult or hurt anyone. I know folks who are good Christian people, good Roman Catholics who really carry out God´s work in loving and caring for their fellowman. We should not judge them because of the past mistakes of past Christians or Roman Catholics, but at the same time, we should not make excuses or pretend that certain things never happened.

In the news feature titled, “Pope apologizes for Church sins”, (BBC news, Sunday, March 12, 2000), the following is stated:

“Pope John Paul II has publicly asked God´s forgiveness for the sins of the Roman Catholics through the ages, including wrongs inflicted on Jews, women and minorities. The unprecedented gesture of the Spiritual leader of the world’s one billion Catholics is one of the first major events of the Vatican year-long celebration marking the beginning of the new Christian Millenium.

“ ‘We are asking pardon for the divisions among Christians, for the use of violence that some have committed in the service of truth, and for attitudes of mistrust and hostility assumed toward followers of other religions,’ said Pope John Paul II, dressed in the purple robes of Lent.

“The phrase, ‘violence in the service of truth,’ is an often-used phrase in reference to the treatment of heretics during the Inquisition, the Crusades, and forced conversions of native peoples. (End, BBC News.)”

During his long reign, Pope John Paul II apologized to Jews, Galileo, women, people convicted by the Inquisition, Muslims killed by the Crusaders, and almost everyone who had allegedly suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church over the years.

As Pope, he officially made public apologies for over 100 of these wrongdoings, including the church´s role in burnings at the stake and the religious wars that followed the Reformation (May 1995); the injustices committed against women, the violation of women´s rights and for the historical denigration of women (29th May 1995 in a Letter to Women); the inactivity and silence of many Catholics during the Holocaust (16 March 1998); Catholic involvement in the African slave trade (August 9, 1993); the legal process of the Italian Catholic scientist, Galileo; for the sins of Catholics throughout the ages for violating “the rights of ethnic groups and peoples,” and for showing contempt for their cultures and religious traditions (12 March 2000 during a public Mass of pardons.)

Here we have a past Supreme head of the Catholic Church making apologies for the Inquisition and other sins of the Catholic Church in the past. This is saying, ‘yes, it happened, we did wrong and we apologize.’

Coming back to Father Scott´s reply, he claims or tries to claim that these things did not happen. Who should we believe, a Supreme head of the Catholic Church, or a rank and file priest? I would advise Father Scott to let sleeping dogs lie and move on.

As John Paul II said, “We cannot not recognize the betrayal of the Gospel committed by our brothers. Recognizing the deviations of the past serves to reawaken our consciences to the compromises of the present.”

Peace and love, my brother.

Elogio Itzab,
San Narciso Village, Corozal District, September 29, 2019

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