In the article, "Cardinals scramble to fill pope's mitre" (February 15), John Hooper states: "The colonial pasts of Britain, France and Spain weigh heavily on the prospects of candidates from those countries."
I find it difficult to understand his logic. Contrary to Hooper, I think it is time for the Vatican to reward Spain for the contribution of its courageous conquistadors in spreading Catholicism across the Atlantic. This would not have been possible without the determination of brave Spaniards such as Columbus, De Cordoba, Cortes, Pizarro and Almago. To make way for a new religion, they exterminated the local populations by all possible ways, including importing European diseases; they erased from memory several ancestral cultures, they destroyed a priceless recording of the world history. As for the French, just look at the religious legacy of its missionaries in Africa.
To the credit of the Vatican, the previous election of a pope did contribute to a notable reward for Germany. After all, sending the Jewish population of Central Europe to Auschwitz and similar places deserves some recognition. It opened a new space for the diligent agents of Catholic proselytism. – Professor J Machabeis