On the Pope's Heart: July 2016
Pope Francis' Prayer for May 2016: Respect for Indigenous Peoples & Attention to Latin America and the Caribbean
Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for July 2016 is that "That indigenous peoples, whose identity and very existence are threatened, will be shown due respect."
In his video, Pope Francis asks us to join him in his "heartfelt prayer that all will respect indigenous peoples, threatened in their identity and even in their existence."
Too often, Westerners threaten the ways of life of indigenous peoples through colonialism (both literal and ideological) and through environmental damage. In countries that have been colonized, like the United States, indigenous peoples are displaced and suffer disproportionately from cyclical poverty and addiction to drugs and alcohol.
During his visit to Bolivia in 2015, Pope Francis apologized on behalf of the Church for its complicity in oppression of indigenous peoples: "I kneel before God and implore forgiveness for the past and present sins of her sons and daughters."
We join Pope Francis in his prayer for the respect of indigenous peoples, and in asking forgiveness for those times we have sinned against indigenous groups or individuals.
We join Pope Francis in praying for a renewal of the Church in Latin America, where so many Catholics live, but where there is so much inequality, corruption and poverty.
This month, Pope Francis prays "That the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean, by means of her mission to the continent, may announce the Gospel with renewed vigor and enthusiasm."
Lord, you have made each of us in Your image, and have created a flourishing planet with diverse cultures. As we encounter cultures that are different from our own, let us have soft hearts. When we have positions of power or privilege over peoples and cultures who are threatened, let us seek to preserve, protect and respect. Help us to seek unity in diversity, rather than in uniformity and conquering.
In a special way, we ask You to be present with those who proclaim the Gospel in Latin America and the Caribbean. May the bold proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ bring the people of those regions into reconciliation and cause social and economic justice to prevail.
Watch the Pope's prayer video for July: