June 4, 2023

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Doctrine of Invention and Misunderstanding of the Pope

This papal silence is even greater disappointment For Canada’s indigenous communities, who have been calling for action on the matter from the Vatican for decades.

In a press release issued by the Assembly of First Nations on Monday, Chief RoseAnn Archibald shared her deep disappointment that the Pope did not offer a full apology, including a formal abandonment of the doctrine of discovery. Inter Catera 1493 and its repeal.

This visit leaves an unfinished tasteThe leader saidAPNA pan-Canadian organization representing all First Nations in the country. Legal considerations seem to have prevented the Pope from granting a full pardonShe added.

A papal bull shares New World

Document Inter Catera A papal Catholic bull signed by Alexander VI in 1493, which shared the European empires (Spain and Portugal) of what was then called the New World.

In North America, the main tenets of the doctrine would later be the French and British taking over territories occupied by the First Nations in the name of their respective monarchs.

l’APN Reconciliation calls for the pure and simple abolition of the doctrine of discovery, as it has influenced the decisions of courts in Canada and the way ancestral titles are defined, according to the system.

We call on federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments to reject concepts used to justify European sovereignty over indigenous peoples and territories. Such comments should be relied upon. »

A quote Truth and Reconciliation Commission Action 47

Pope Francis was at first surprised when a CBC reporter used the term doctrine of discovery when several media outlets questioned it on the flight back to Rome on July 30. The journalist repeated his question to the Sovereign Pontiff and asked why he did not use the opportunity of his visit to Canada to refute this doctrine, which is enshrined in the constitutional and legal systems of Canada and the United States.

The expression doctrine of discovery is quite unusual in Catholic theology.Jean-Francois Roussel, a professor at the Institute of Religious Studies at the University of Montreal, explains in an interview. The expression is used in a purely legal context to refer to a doctrine that finds its origin in a series of three papal bulls of the 15th century.

Mr. For Russell, there may have been a misunderstanding or the Holy See misinformed the Pope about the importance of indigenous claims in relation to the aftermath of papal bulls. Inter Catera. In the minds of ecclesiastics, there is nothing to retract or abolish, since these doctrines have been invalidated from their point of view by successive historical developments and later circumstances.

Papal bulls no longer represent the position of the Catholic Church. The Holy See considers these to be obsolete relics. So it would be logical for them to be rejected by the Pope. »

A quote Jean-François Roussel is a professor at the Institute of Religious Studies at the University of Montreal

Papal visits to the country were largely organized by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, which may explain this partial pardon, the professor adds. I don’t know if they had the theory of discovery in their sights.He mentions. While it was part of the demands of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, it was flawed in the preparation of the visit by leaving this aspect aside.

For her part, Emma Anderson, a professor of religious studies at the University of Ottawa, said it was difficult to explain why the pope did not go to the end of the penitential process. His visit was not religious, but politicalshe says. We knew he was coming to apologize, but perhaps he wanted to focus on one message: the suffering inflicted on Aboriginal people by Catholics through the residential school system.

The Pope responded to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Action 58 by personally apologizing to residential school survivors, their families and communities, Ms Anderson said. But by eschewing discovery theory, he sidesteps principle Terra nullius He had a great influence on the development of law in Canada and the United States.

However, he believes the Pope’s position may change in the future. The Vatican is soon preparing something to accommodate the demands of indigenous communities. But the final decision rests with the Pope, and with him aloneShe concludes.

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