November 30, 1977
PART III “Aggiornate” Missionary Voices
The Indian, the Only Proprietor
Contrary to the hostile position it takes towards private property in contemporary society, updated missiology is extremely covetous of the collective property of the Indian tribes.
The native, even when settled in one place, does not develop the land such as to guarantee its satisfactory utilization for the common good of the country. Nevertheless, neomissiology most energetically upholds the Indians’ ownership over vast tracts of land. And in the following texts, it goes so far as to insinuate that the white man who came here began to steal from the Indian as soon as he arrived.
This contradiction between “aggiornata” missiology’s position regarding the Indians’ right of property and the right of property that exists in our society seems utterly unexplainable.
It is easily explained, though, if one considers that the white man’s property is private and, therefore, looked down upon, when not formally condemned, by leftism. But the Indians’ property is communitarian, the new missionaries assert, and therefore compatible with leftist standards.
34. The American Indian Is the Only True Lord of the Land.
Declaration of CIMI:
It is commonly heard that, constituting only a little more than 1% of the country’s population, the Brazilian Indians ‘don’t need so much land.’ Whoever thinks so forgets that the Indian was the first inhabitant of the Americas. As the Indian-American Parliament of the Southern Zone concluded when meeting in San Bernardino, Paraguay in October 1974, ‘The American Indian is the millenary owner of the land. The land belongs to the Indian. The Indian is the land itself. The Indian is the owner of the land with or without property titles. (Doc. 26, p. 560)
The new missionaries, so hostile and restrictive in relation to private property, become fanatic upon affirming here, in the most unrestricted and absolute way, the tribes’ collective ownership of the areas in which they live. Thus, the American Indian is for them the only true master of the land.
35. “The Indians Are the First Owners of Brazilian Land.”
Statement of the Comissão Pastoral da Terra (Pastoral Commission on the Land) about the events in Meruri:
The Indians are the first owners of Brazilian land since before the arrival of our parents and grandparents. And they have much to teach us, especially about the evangelic way of loving and working the land and the way to live together with others. Would this not be the reason we want to destroy them, for having a way of living and loving nature contrary to ours, so full of individualism, domination, and exploitation? (Doc. 27, p. 3)
Nothing can be more violent than to accuse someone of being an exterminator of indigenous societies, and above all with such an ignoble motive, that is, hating their virtues.
Besides, accuse what? The current socio-economic structure? Mysterious capitalist groups? The vague nature of an accusation is always a serious lacuna, and the more serious the accusation, the graver the lacuna.
According to the praxes of demagoguery, the proofs are lacking …
Any commentary concerning the exclusivism with which the property rights of the Indian over the vastness through which they roamed are affirmed can be dispensed with since it has already been done previously.