Friday, May 26, 2006


Doctrine of Discovery

There is no ambiguity in the language of the 15th-century papal bulls issued by the popes of the Roman Catholic Church as they encouraged the kings of Portugal and Spain to conquer ''undiscovered'' lands, enslave their non-Christian populations and expropriate their possession and resources. Now, more than 500 years later, the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues has called on Pope Benedict XVI to revoke and renounce those documents.

The bulls, according to the forum, formed the ''doctrine of discovery'' - a philosophy that sanctified the massacre of millions of indigenous people and continues to influence U.S. Supreme Court decisions today. ...

These bulls provide the foundation for the theft of indigenous lands throughout the world that continues up to this day. These bulls subjugated innocent and unsuspecting Native peoples and subjected them to more than 500 years of slavery, genocide and a less than human identity. We continue to suffer from what could be called an international conspiracy of nations, now ... become nation-states, to continue to perpetuate this racist doctrine promulgated by the Roman Catholic Church. This doctrine is a crime against humanity.


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