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Mexican Bishops Meet Pope Francis to Discuss Ministry to Indigenous

H. Sergio Mora -
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December 18, 2013

Indigenous Peoples representatives with the ticket to enter the theatre and to meet Pope Francis, during a World Youth Day (WYD) activity. (Denise Oliveira/WWF)

ROME - Bishop Felipe Arizmendi of San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico, and Auxiliary Bishop Enrique Diaz Diaz were received by the Holy Father in the Vatican. ZENIT met with them and asked them to share with our readers their impressions of that meeting and something about the situation of their diocese. Here is what they had to say.

... "The Pope is familiar with the subject we presented to him," Bishop Arizmendi continued. "We pointed out to the Holy Father the question of the Indians, because in our homeland, specifically in Chiapas, there are many and they belong to five main ethnic groups. And among the poor, the Indians are poor, very poor."

"These people not only have their own language, but they also have their customs, their rites, their symbols and their dress. And in addition there are dialects or regionalisms within each language. An important point, however, is that there are no ethnic rivalries among them," specified the Auxiliary Bishop.

"When we are with them - referring to the Indians - we enter another world, another culture; our responsibility is not to destroy it but, on the contrary, to know it, to respect it and to appreciate it. That is why we have brought to Rome - to the Congregation for Divine Worship - the request for the authorization of the Mass in the two main languages, Tzotzil and Tzeltal, which was already approved by the Mexican Episcopal Conference with its Bible, Liturgy, Culture, Indian and Doctrine of the Faith Commissions."

He specified that the Bible is already translated into Txeltal and we are translating it into Tzotzil.

Read the rest at EWTN

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