The Vatican issued a document on Thursday to distance itself from the Catholic Church’s colonial encroachment. He “rejects” the papal decrees of XV.e A century that recognized the enslavement of indigenous peoples, mainly in the United States.
This stance refers to the horrific campaigns of forced conversions carried out by the Catholic Church after the arrival of Europeans in the Americas following the voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1492.
This text found a particular resonance in late 19th century Canadae Between the century and the 1990s, about 150,000 Aboriginal children were removed from their families. They were often placed in boarding schools run by the Catholic Church, where they were cut off from family, language and culture. The Pope has since recognized that this drama of residential schools amounts to genocide.
This rejection of papal decrees, “it is enormous”, reacted to the Canadian senator Michele Audette to AFP. “For many of us, it’s been asking for decades,” he added.
In July 2022, when Pope Francis visited Canada, indigenous associations asked him to cancel the “bulls” — official documents signed by the pope — in the wake of the “doctrine of discovery,” which authorized European powers to settle non-Christians. Lands and People. This theory was used in a late 2005 United States Supreme Court decision to justify the seizure of Native territories.
This “worries all the indigenous peoples of the world,” said Jean-Francois Roussel, a professor at the Institute of Religious Studies at the University of Montreal. “This is probably the last chapter of the lyrics. Now, aa are made, the question of compensation, support programs or cultural revival, added the expert, referring to the question of the cultural revival that already exists.
A joint note issued Thursday by the Dicasteries (ministries) for Culture and Education and Service for Integral Human Development refers to three papal “bulls” issued in Vatican XV.e Century of Nicholas V and Alexander VI.
The Vatican now considers these “bulls” to be “political documents, instruments of immorality” and that they were “never intended as expressions of the Catholic faith.” The Holy See further recognizes that they “do not adequately reflect the equal dignity and rights of indigenous peoples”.
“The Catholic Church rejects views that fail to recognize the inherent human rights of indigenous peoples, including what is legally and politically known as the ‘doctrine of recognition.'”
“Many Christians have committed malicious acts against indigenous peoples for which recent popes have repeatedly apologized,” the Vatican document acknowledges. And the Catholic Church, “realized their sufferings, past and present, because of the usurpation of their lands. […]as well as compulsory integration policies”.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops declared itself in a press release “thankful” to the Holy See for publishing the speech.
Asked about this harrowing matter on the plane back from Canada, the Argentine Pope called this “colonial theory” “bad” and “unjust.” “This mentality that we are superior and that what we own is not important is radical. For this, we need to work in this direction. Go back and clean up all that was done badly, but know that the same colonialism is still there today,” he added.
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