Evangelizing remote tribes


So when the Spanish evangelised the Aztecs and the other tribes in what is now Mexico did those tribes have a frame of reference? And did the Spanish priests who arrived to evangelise them know their audience?


Given how Spanish-Aztec relations played out, I wouldn’t exactly consider that a model of missionary work.


There is a very high possibility that he transmitted disease to them. Even with brief contact, he could have killed them because they have no immunity to our diseases, even a common cold.


When evangelizing, it’s always a good idea to consider the reality that the person I am evangelizing may be closer to God than I am. This consideration applies to those I might consider ignorant. Evangelization is never a one way street.


Well then what’s the point?

That’s simply a rehash of the modern idea that all cultures are equally good.


How do you figure that?
What do you mean by equal? I don’t place much value in “equal” in terms of culture. People have equal rights before God and the law, but cultures are unique, and qualitative comparisons frequently fail.


The many millions converted to the Catholic faith, thanks to Our Lady.

Would you rather the Aztecs had continued their industrial scale of human sacrifice? Should the Spanish have just respected their religious beliefs and culture and let them carry on with this?


What does that mean?


All you have to do is look at modern western culture to see the problem with this line of thinking.


Our Lady of Guadalupe’s appearance and the image left of St Juan Diego’s tilma. The Catholic faith spread at an incredible rate after this with many millions converting.


What point are you making? That the Aztec practice of ongoing large scale human sacrifice ought to have been respected by the Spanish?


That’s an impossibility unless theyre somehow already Christian.

Their actions indicate they aren’t.


Juan Diego was an Aztec: not Spanish.


Yes, and his conversion was as a result of Spanish missionaries evangelising him, his wife and his uncle. He was a devout Catholic (as a result of evangelisation by Spanish priests several years prior to this) when Our Lady appeared to him.

What point are you trying to make by stating this fact?


Cortés, Cortés…what a killer… Plenty bad man…
Ahhh Neil…


Chau returned later that day with arrow injuries. On November 16, “the (tribespeople) broke his canoe.”

“So, he came back to the boat swimming. He did not come back on the 17th; the fishermen later saw the tribespeople dragging his body around,” Pathak said.

In 2006, the tribes killed two local fishermen.

Great culture they have there.

They ought to be dragged off their island to face justice for murdering people. Justice is a universal human concept.

It’s ridiculous to force these people to live in these uncivilised conditions through forced isolation by the authorities. There’s always a way to open communication with a culture. We should try and do that and actually communicate with these people. It’s only then we’d truly know what they want. You can’t assume people wouldn’t want to join the rest of society if they don’t even have a chance.


We don’t have to “Protect” them. Like the Amish we “can” respect their wishes. However, we should have dialogue to prevent international incidents and needless bloodshed.


Just a thought, if you read about the various murders of people by the islanders, it reads almost as if they were killed by animals and not human beings.


There’s nothing wrong with leaving them alone. Chau should have tried to convert in New York the same number as possibly exist on the island.

I’ve spent years trying to get people to see things the Catholic way, even on this website, and the fruits are very lean! Converting people is next to impossible. When you hear of people converting, it’s often because of their unusual perception of a pretty normal thing, not the result of somebody singing hymns in their ears or somebody talking. Often, it’s due to their spouse wanting them to convert for marriage.


Well, in many ways that foreign invader was a ticking time bomb. All it would take is a cough or a sneeze and the island inhabitants would be gone. We aren’t talking about a normal situation here. Is it murder? I have no clue, but I can see a case being made for self defense.

What is known about this culture besides they do not want to be contacted?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.