Pope Benedict opened a special meeting of bishops about Africa with an attack on a new kind of colonialism. From Reuters:
“There is absolutely no doubt that the so-called ‘First’ World has exported up to now and continues to export its spiritual toxic waste that contaminates the peoples of other continents, particularly those of Africa,”
“In this sense, colonialism – while finished in the political sphere – hasn’t really ended,”
Then, apparently without irony:
The Pope said evangelisation was “urgent” in Africa – though the Catholic Church is already growing faster there than in any other part of the world, nearly trebling in size to 150 million followers over 30 years.
The Catholic Church does much of the best development work on the continent. And I don’t begrudge a faith its evagelization. But for the Church to position itself as anti-colonial is a bit rich.