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Pope Francis jumps into pipeline dispute

February 16, 2017 at 11:45 am 35 News
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File Photo - (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis insisted Wednesday that indigenous groups must give prior consent to any economic activity affecting their ancestral lands, a view that conflicts with the Trump administration, which is pushing to build a $3.8 billion oil pipeline over opposition from American Indians.

Francis met with representatives of indigenous peoples attending a U.N. agricultural meeting and said the key issue facing them is how to reconcile the right to economic development with protecting their cultures and territories.

“In this regard, the right to prior and informed consent should always prevail,” he said. “Only then is it possible to guarantee peaceful cooperation between governing authorities and indigenous peoples, overcoming confrontation and conflict.”

The Cheyenne River and the Standing Rock Sioux tribes have sued to stop construction on the final stretch of the Dakota Access pipeline, which would bring oil from North Dakota’s rich Bakken fields across four states to a shipping point in Illinois.

The tribes say the pipeline threatens their drinking water, cultural sites and ability to practice their religion, which depends on pure water. The last piece of the pipeline is to pass under a reservoir on the Missouri River, which marks the eastern border of both tribes’ reservations.

The company building the pipeline, Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, has insisted the water supply will be safe.

Francis didn’t cite the Dakota pipeline dispute by name and the Vatican press office said he was not making a direct reference to it. But history’s first Latin American pope has been a consistent backer of indigenous rights and has frequently spoken out about the plight of Indians in resisting economic development that threatens their lands.

“For governments, this means recognizing that indigenous communities are a part of the population to be appreciated and consulted, and whose full participation should be promoted at the local and national level,” Francis told the indigenous leaders Wednesday.

In the waning days of the Obama administration, amid protests over construction that led to some 700 arrests, federal agencies that have authority over the reservoir said they would not give permission for pipe to be laid until an environmental study was done.

U.S. President Donald Trump reversed course and last month instructed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with building the pipeline.

Francis’ reference to prior consent is enshrined in the U.N. Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, which was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2007 over the opposition of the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Francis’ strong backing for indigenous groups and refugees, his climate change concerns and criticism of the global economy’s profit-at-all-cost mentality highlight the policy differences with the Trump administration that may come out if the U.S. president meets with Francis while in Italy for a G-7 summit in May. There has been no confirmation of any meeting to date, however.

AP writer Daniela Petroff contributed.

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.

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Pope Francis jumps into pipeline dispute, 1.7 out of 10 based on 6 ratings

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35 Comments

  1. ecarr12198 February 16, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    He needs to stay out of our business!!!

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    • Mel February 16, 2017 at 5:35 pm

      What percentage of you is Native American? I’m assuming it’s at least one percent?

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    • drillbeast February 16, 2017 at 7:20 pm

      Mel,
      I am 100% native American and the Pope needs to mind his own business until he tears down the walls around the Vatican and allows all refugee’s into his “kingdom”. I’m sure the Muslims, who are required by their teachings to convert or kill infidels, will appreciate his actions.
      He will not of course because he will not put his actions where his mouth is.

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    • baitfish February 17, 2017 at 10:11 am

      poop francis believes tearing down America IS his business. Have you ever heard ONE pro America statement come out of his mouth? This man is no more a Christian than satan himself.

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    • marines February 17, 2017 at 7:24 pm

      The Vicar of Christ is obviously not listening to the Holy Spirit reminding him of what Christ said to the Pharisees concerning the denarius he asked for. Indigenous peoples is code by socialists for anyone they wish to soak and get their percentage.

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  2. concernedingeorgia February 16, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Considering the history of the Roman Catholic Church in dealing with the indigenous peoples of South America, he has no room to talk.

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    • ltuser
      ltuser February 16, 2017 at 5:17 pm

      Heck what about all the looting and robbery the catholic church did i Europe when it expanded back in the 600s and such.

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    • gran24 February 16, 2017 at 6:24 pm

      Amen to that! He has no more business advising America than would the leaders of Russia, Mexico, etc. For someone who can’t even control what his priests do, what makes him think he is qualified to advise our country? He needs to just butt out!

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    • sclayton6165 February 20, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      You are 100% correct. The Catholics did horrible things in their past so I really don’t think this doofus should be casting the first stone.

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  3. tws500 February 16, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    What’s he said about radical islam..?! Has he said or done anything about Christians being decapitated..?!! Has he denounced isis..?!!! Has he taken in any refugees? Has he said anything about the way women are treated in muslim countries? Does he support Israel?

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    • ltuser
      ltuser February 16, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      [Has he said anything about radical islam.

      Not to my knowledge.

      [Has he spoken out against ISIS]

      Nope

      [Has he decried the beheadings of Christians]

      Again nope…

      [Has he taken in any refugees]

      IIRC he’s taken in 6 whole families. IIRC ALL 6 were Muslim families, not chrisian ones fleeing the muslim beheadings…

      [Has he said anything about the way islam treats women]

      Again, nope..

      See a pattern here??

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  4. Jota_ February 16, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Guess it really all depends on who gets to say what is a harm to the environment and what isn’t

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: ‘Significant Environmental Damage’ Possible from Dakota Pipeline Protest Camps

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/andrew-eicher/us-army-corps-engineers-significant-environmental-damage-possible-dakota

    Per usual pontificating on topics he knows nothing about. Is he even an expert in one?

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    • Mel February 16, 2017 at 5:37 pm

      lol “pontificating”

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  5. godgivenrights February 16, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Trump acts more like a Christian than this pope.

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  6. columba February 16, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Pope Francis is a disgrace to the Church. I’m Catholic myself, and I know that many faithful Catholics are appalled at the things he’s said and done. My only consolation is in history: we’ve had even worse Popes before, and as someone once said, one of the marks of the divine origin of the Church is that she’s survived her clergy. I know there are Protestants among us who’ve said similar things about some of their own clergy.

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  7. ultrabloo February 16, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    No surprise. Francis is a Chavez/Morales-like South American leftist-socialist (lotta good it’s done down there, eh?), whereas earlier popes were more centrist to conservative Europeans. This pope should spend more time worrying about the ills of the 3rd world, rather than American matters (where, while not perfect, the best human rights in the world exist). Like Americans flirted with novelty candidates obama and clinton, the Catholic Church was enamored with the idea of a non-European pope. All three were very bad ideas.

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    • Mel February 16, 2017 at 5:44 pm

      The best human rights in the world exist in Scandanavia. Norway, Sweden, etc.

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    • LLM the Ultimate February 16, 2017 at 8:10 pm

      On the contrary, Mel, the European countries are becoming weaker and weaker. Sweden is the worst. It is filled with with feminists, radical gays, and Islamists. In fact, Swedish schools are not allowed to fly their OWN FLAG for fear of “offending any group”. But of course, the ISIS FLAG is allowed to fly in Sweden!

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    • ltuser
      ltuser February 17, 2017 at 1:23 am

      Wow. I never knew that.. I had to look it up and it seems its so far only the one school (back in 2015) so who knows how man more have followed suit..

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  8. 51mgb February 16, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Advice to Pope: MYOB. Stay in the Vatican, smell the holy smoke and stay out of politics. You are a liberation theology Marxist that hasn’t elevated any of the catholic countries in the Western hemisphere.

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    • ltuser
      ltuser February 16, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      Better yet, RESIGN as pope, so we can get someone in who will actually CARE MORE for christian values and christian principles, than socialist dogma!

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    • Mel February 16, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      Sorry; just curious, really: how do you think that the pope displays tendencies toward Marxism? Personally, I think that if he was Marxist he’d have to resign as pope, don’t you agree?

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    • Mel February 16, 2017 at 6:01 pm

      No; just kidding around. He DOES sympathize with Marxists. He has since before he was ordained as a priest.

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  9. thefisherofmen February 16, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Let’s see now: When and where in time and place does this Pope determine who are indigenous peoples? Does he go back to his church’s Bible and put the starting place and time at the Tower of Babel? Oooops, better not, because back then there were NO indigenous peoples on this continent. What makes the Dakotas indigenous? They migrated from Asia according to DNA comparisons on 23andme.com.

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  10. Cindy Dandrea February 16, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    This Pope should stick to all the things that are awry in the church before going head-long into politics….. We have enough so-called do gooders playing politics in every aspect of our “deplorable’ lives!!!!

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  11. genemz
    genemz February 16, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Sadly, the RCC started off correctly, then the Hillary Clintons and Obamas seeking power through religion worked their way into a power grab that eventually destroyed the true Christian aspect of the RCC. If the RCC were politicians? They would demand absolute control and would trample the Constitution to get it, just like the RCC tramples Scripture!

    Catholics?.. Look what the Bible says in Matthew 23:9 …

    (Jesus demanded)
    ” And *call no man your father upon the earth*: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.”

    Who do you ask for the truth about that? Try asking *Father* O’Malley? Jesus said call no man on earth “father.” That includes you biological father. We do not call God, “Dad.”

    The RCC make excuses about that passage like Hillary claims she sent no classified material. I pray that more Catholics begin reading the Bible for themselves. A translation in plain English, to see how they have been being lied to. For, there are many things the RCC teaches that contradicts the Word of God. Too many times to be true faith.

    Its a man-made religion that cloaks itself in inept interpretations of the Bible.

    Keep in mind.. Jesus said that the TRUTH will make you free. Counterfeit truth is Satan’s way of taking control so we lose that potential to see through him and to be made free. Only the Truth will make us free. Religion is a rabbit’s foot for the superstitious, not truth.

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  12. David McKeeman February 16, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    In the US and presumably in most of the civilized world: At some depth the
    land rights cease to exist when it comes to running electrical cables, sewer lines,
    subway tunnels, water pipes and pipelines!

    Pope Francis is getting so old he may not even remember the Biblical warning to
    Render unto Ceasar that which is Ceasar’s, and to God……..

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  13. LLM the Ultimate February 16, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    I strongly advise that religion and politics should be kept separate. The Pope should lead the Church and Trump should lead the nation. I know that Pope Francis is socially conservative but leans left economically. Thus, I maintain that the Pope stay out of politics and concentrate on religion.

    Also, i thought that the Native Americans had met with the government leaders already! As long as Trump fixes our infrastructure and makes sure that the natives’ water is not contaminated, build the pipeline.

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  14. Frank Hurley February 16, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    What a dunce!

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  15. gavinwca February 16, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    Tell the Pope to take care of his own communist brethren,and we will take Care of our Republic, thank you.

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  16. Harlan Evans February 17, 2017 at 8:11 am

    The American Indian need to get over it move your Nation forward this protesting progress will get you nothing stop listening to the Democrats and the Liberals they are out to destroy America and you go as well. Your water will not be contaminated and your land will be left intact they are using you for their own agenda not to mention jobs and training for the Nation !!

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  17. Bob Herbst February 17, 2017 at 9:57 am

    If this is true, ( I suspect FAKE news ) I wonder who is feeding him the Garbage that the pipeline is harmful to the water and cultural sites. Obviously he is being FED incorrect information by the ILLEGAL THUGS that are still mired in the FECES and Garbage remains at the ILLEGAL encampment which will soon POLLUTE the Missouri River !!!!!! I am sure he would not have been happier to have Clinton abortion advocates in the White house !!!!!

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  18. caligal February 17, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Apparently this guy thinks we already have a one world government whereby he can interject his authority on any subject, in any country, at any time he sees fit and have it stick–NOT.

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  19. T E C.. February 18, 2017 at 10:40 am

    I understand that these protesters have left 250 plus loads of garbage in the area they are protesting !! I don’t think the pipe line is creating this much pollution.
    I work a full time job and I don’t have time to do the protesting. So the question remains, who is paying for these people to protest????

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    • LLM the Ultimate February 18, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      Soros and the globalists.

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