It is common belief that the age of colonialism is of the past. This may be true of political colonialism, that is, one nation taking over another territory usually from another continent, lording it over the people there, getting their natural and human resources, and imposing their system of governance. Colonialism brings with it ideas of control, exploitation and imposition. Yes, political and military colonialism may now be of the past, but the practice of control, exploitation and imposition over other countries and peoples is still very much alive today. We see this clearly in terms of economics and finance. The former colonialists continue their colonizing influence by controlling the financial and economic situations of their former colonies. Their colonies are still tied up, and even controlled by them, economically, usually through their transnational corporations and the local elites that are beholden to them. In a way China is engaging in this economic colonialism all over the world. The poor countries are ensnared to it by loans and mega-projects.
There is another kind of colonialism that the Popes are warning us about—ideological colonialism. This is the imposition of beliefs and ideologies, usually coming from the West. These beliefs and outlooks are presented as “progress” and they are imposed on other countries, cultures and religions in the name of development. Unfortunately, some UN agencies become agents of this form of colonialism. In fact, the adoption of these lifestyles are presented as preconditions for receiving “economic aids” from the so-called “developed” countries. To make them more palatable, these lifestyles are presented as “human rights” that all people should adopt if they want to “progress.” Some of the concrete examples of this ideological colonialism is the imposition of the “right to abortion”, contraceptive ideologies presented as “reproductive rights”, the gender ideologies which espouse the right to same-sex marriages, and the myth that population is a hindrance to development.”
On this last matter, Pope Benedict taught: “To consider population increase as the primary cause of underdevelopment is mistaken, even from an economic point of view. Due attention must be given to responsible procreation, which among other things has a positive contribution to make to integral human development…Morally responsible openness to life represents a rich solid and economic resource. Populous nations have been able to emerge from poverty thanks not least to the size of their population and the talents of their people.” (Caritas in Veritate, 44) Pope Francis adds: “To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some is one way of refusing to face issues.” (Laudato Si’, 50).
Environmental ecology is now on the vogue but Western gender ideology do not speak of human ecology. Pope Benedict wrote: “The Church as a responsibility towards creation and she must assert this responsibility in the public sphere. She must defend not only earth, water and air as gifts of creation that belongs to everyone. She must above all protect mankind from self-destruction. There is need for human ecology…The book of nature is one and indivisible: it takes in not only the environment but also life, sexuality, marriage, the family, social relations: on a word, integral human development. Our duties towards the environment are linked to our duties towards the human person, considered in himself and in relation to others. (Caritas in Veritate, 51) Ecology asks for great respect for the gifts of nature, plus the gift of our bodies, which is goes against gender ideology which espouses choice, even on the bodies that we are given. “The acceptance of our bodies as God’s gift is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift from the Father and our common home, whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute control over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation.” (Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, 155)
We should be very discerning because foreign ideas and outlooks are being imposed on us. Colonialism is still very much alive. The more economically and technologically powerful countries want to impose their worldviews to the rest of the world. This too is colonialism.
–Guest editorial: Bishop Broderick Pabillo