On July 9, 2008, the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers (the "Council") arrived in Rome, Italy to address the Vatican papal bull. We were turned away.
The grandmothers had tickets for the public audience of Pope Benedict XVI on July 9. Shortly after before their arrival, however, it was announced that the Pope's public audiences for the entire month of July were canceled. The Grandmothers smiled and decided that as women of prayer they would go to the Vatican anyway, and deliver a prepared statement and make prayers on that holy ground. Their trip to the Vatican is part of their spiritual journey on a spiritual path, for the sake of Indigenous nations, all peoples, and all living things.
There were many tourists at St. Peter's Square; most only glanced as they passed. Then a man suddenly stopped and watched for a moment. Perhaps the aroma of the burning sage and copal drew attention to the group's activities. Suddenly, it was as though a reaction was triggered in him, and he yelled, "What you're doing is anti-Catholic. Get out of here. I'm calling the police!" The Grandmothers looked at him and continued their prayer.
Soon thereafter, the Vatican police arrived, angrily shaking their fists in the air. They declared, "This is the Vatican State and you cannot do that here. You must leave, get out." The grandmothers continued praying.
They traveled to Italy to meet and simply pray in peace. The grandmothers read a prepared statement with a timeline, detailing the historical efforts by Indigenous Nations and Peoples calling for the revocation of the papal bulls. The Grandmothers called the names of the individuals and organizations who supported the Grandmothers' journey, channeling their thoughts into our prayers, strengthening this effort. As a finale, our youth ambassador, 9 year-old Davian Joell Stand-Gilpin, great-great-great-great granddaughter of Chief Dull Knife of the Lakota Nation, performed a traditional dance in celebration of the event.
The Grandmothers are
certain that it is now time to open a sincere
spiritual dialogue between the Catholic church
and indigenous peoples to arrive at a meeting of
minds and discuss the revocation of three
antiquated and divisive papal bulls and edicts,
Dum Diversas, June 18, 1952, Romanus Pontifex,
January 8, 1455, and Inter Caetera, May 4, 1493.
More Press Coverage from Grandmother's trip: http://www.grandmotherscouncil.com/news.html
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