Pope denounces ‘colonialist mentality’
VATICAN CITY. – In an exclusive interview at the Vatican ahead of his scheduled trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, Pope Francis denounced a “colonialist mentality” of the international community toward Africa.
“There is a historical, geographical reality. In Italian it is said ‘Africa va fruttata’, that is, Africa is meant to be exploited. And that is a kind of colonialist mentality that remains,” he said.
He pointed to a problem of attitude toward the African continent.
“A kind of colonialist mentality…remains,” Francis said.
“That is a problem of our attitude and of not yet (having the) courage of total independence on their part.”
The Pope is due to arrive in the capital of Congolese Kinshasa next week on Tuesday for a three-day visit.
When it was originally scheduled for July, the trip was supposed to include a stop in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province. The Vatican scrapped that leg of the trip, amid a new wave of attacks in parts of North Kivu.
Francis also addressed what he called a problem of “tribalism” in Africa.
“The tribalism is also very strong, for example to appoint a bishop in a diocese, one has to look carefully, that he belongs to the group – not to say tribe – that he belongs to the group,” he said adding that during a visit to Kenya, a crowd chanted repeatedly “no to tribalism.” – AP