In a speech in Brazil last week, the pope sparked controversy by saying that native populations had been “silently longing” for the Christian faith brought to South America by colonizers.
“The proclamation of Jesus and of his Gospel did not at any point involve an alienation of the pre-Columbus cultures, nor was it the imposition of a foreign culture,” he said in Brazil.
I'm not quite sure what to chalk these remarks up to. I can say that claiming that you know what people long dead were "silently longing" for, at least in this context (e.g., conversion by force), is at best an arrogant remark. As for the "alienation" and "imposition" remark, well, clearly the Pope is simply ignorant of the events that took place in the Americas following Columbus' voyage. By itself suppressing the worship of the Gods of the indigenous population was an "imposition of a foreign culture."
Perhaps the Pope should read de Las Casas; clearly he needs some sort of education on this particular issue.