Pope Apologizes for New World Conquests

Pope Francis drew applause from crowds in Bolivia on Thursday for comments about the mistreatment of native peoples by the Catholic Church during colonization. “I humbly ask forgiveness, not only for the offenses of the church herself, but also for crimes committed against the native peoples during the so-called conquest of America,” he said. Papal predecessors had only acknowledged wrongdoing, but did not go as far as Francis. The country’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, gave the pontiff a crucifix depicting Christ nailed to a hammer and sickle when the pontiff arrived in the country.