Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Catholic Church and the Caribs in Trinidad

In a report published in one of Trinidad and Tobago's daily newspapers, Newsday, titled "Carib descendants ponder another holiday" (Sunday, October 15, 2006), there is some interesting information on the still evolving relationship between the Roman Catholic Church in Trinidad and the Santa Rosa Carib Community. According to the report:

"Monsignor Christian Perreira, parish priest of the Santa Rosa Church, admitted that there was much more 'healing' to take place between the First Peoples and the Church. 'This relationship still has to be fleshed out,' he said. 'The apology and intention are there, the atonement is there and while in very many ways the First Peoples have accepted that atonement, there is still the healing to come.' Fr Perreira added that the country’s oldest feast, The Feast of Santa Rosa, which is shared by the Church and the Carib community, has sought to bridge the divide for the past 220 years."

To my knowledge, the Catholic Church in Trinidad has never formally and publicly apologized for its exploitation and abuse of the indigenous people it held under its control in the missions.

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