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Native Americans to new Pope: Recant the ‘Discovery Doctrine,’ which gave Catholics dominion
NY Daily News ^ | March 13, 2013 | Stephen Rex Brown

Posted on 03/13/2013 11:16:09 AM PDT by Alex Murphy

A 15th century Catholic decree permitting Europeans to seize Indian land in the New World is a load of papal bull.

That was the message Tuesday from the Onondaga Nation, which is calling on the new Pope to revoke the so-called Discovery Doctrine, which evolved from a papal decree written by Pope Nicholas V in 1455.

“Now is the time for the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church to extend a hand and talk about these issues,” said Tonya Frichner, the president of the American Indian Law Alliance.

The Discovery Doctrine was a key element in the moral justification of the European conquest of indigenous people around the world and remains influential in legal circles.

In the U.S., it is often cited as a way of arguing that the nomadic Native Americans occupied the land but did not own it.

“The doctrine of discovery put us in the same place as the buffaloes and rabbits, roaming the land,” said Oren Lyons, a faith keeper of the Turtle Clan in the Onondaga nation. “We didn't have right of title to land, but rather occupancy.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg cited the doctrine in a 2005 ruling against the Oneida Indian Nation. The ruling affirmed the government’s sovereignty over lands, even if they’re sold to an Indian tribe.

If the church were to dissavow the decree, Lyons said it would remove a legal argument against tribal land claims.

Frichner said Onondaga elders first pushed the church to revoke the doctrine in 1992. Pope John Paul II was open to discussions about the the doctrine, she said, but Pope Benedict shut them down.

Talks “were reduced to, ‘Well, this is old history,’” Frichner said.

The Discovery Doctrine is expected to be a hot topic Wednesday as the entire Iroquois Confederacy rallies at the National Museum of the American Indian in lower Manhattan to commemorate a 400-year-old treaty with the Dutch.

The protest against the Discovery Doctrine won’t fade once the white smoke dissipates from the Sistine Chapel chimney. In August, Native Americans will embark on a 13-day canoe trip from Albany to New York City to symbolize the common ground they share with European settlers — a relationship that could be improved with the renunciation of the heinous papal declaration.

“There are over 500 million indigenous people throughout the world — they'd like a response from the Holy See,” Frichner said.


TOPICS: Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Other non-Christian; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: americanindians; catholic; nativeamericans; newworld
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Full headline: Native Americans to new Pope: Recant the ‘Discovery Doctrine,’ which gave Catholics dominion over New World

A 15th century Catholic decree permitting Europeans to seize Indian land in the New World is a load of papal bull. That was the message Tuesday from the Onondaga Nation, which is calling on the new Pope to revoke the so-called Discovery Doctrine, which evolved from a papal decree written by Pope Nicholas V in 1455....The Discovery Doctrine was a key element in the moral justification of the European conquest of indigenous people around the world and remains influential in legal circles. In the U.S., it is often cited as a way of arguing that the nomadic Native Americans occupied the land but did not own it....

....Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg cited the doctrine in a 2005 ruling against the Oneida Indian Nation. The ruling affirmed the government’s sovereignty over lands, even if they’re sold to an Indian tribe.

1 posted on 03/13/2013 11:16:09 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy

How could it have been written in 1455 when Columbus didn’t find the New World until 1492 ???


2 posted on 03/13/2013 11:21:37 AM PDT by 11th_VA (DRONES DON'T KILL, PRESIDENTS KILL ...)
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To: Alex Murphy

papal decree written by Pope Nicholas V in 1455

I thought Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492?


3 posted on 03/13/2013 11:22:27 AM PDT by Mouton (108th MI Group.....68-71)
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To: 11th_VA

Public school huh? Other lands were being discovered and explored before the Americas.


4 posted on 03/13/2013 11:24:04 AM PDT by mnehring
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To: Alex Murphy
the Onondaga Nation, which is calling on the new Pope to revoke the so-called Discovery Doctrine

Indian givers (and takers).

5 posted on 03/13/2013 11:24:13 AM PDT by Michael.SF. (Obama lied, Stevens died.)
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To: Alex Murphy
We didn't have right of title to land, but rather occupancy.

I have legal papers that say I own/have title to land and other property. Now someone I don't know and who has not "paid" for what I own tells me I don't really own it, but only "occupy" it? Houston we have a problem. God has a prior claim, but other men do not.

6 posted on 03/13/2013 11:25:00 AM PDT by Texas Fossil
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To: Alex Murphy

Alex Murphy:

I wonder if all the Liberals are correct, Mexicans are not illegals as Texas, California are legaly theirs, what say you Mr. Murphy?


7 posted on 03/13/2013 11:25:39 AM PDT by CTrent1564
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To: 11th_VA

“Evolved from”


8 posted on 03/13/2013 11:25:39 AM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: Alex Murphy
Everybody wants their share of the fifteen minutes.
9 posted on 03/13/2013 11:26:04 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("Somebody has to be courageous enough to stand up to the bullies." --Dr. Ben Carson)
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To: Alex Murphy
Indians didn't own it either. They routinely moved and stole land from each other.
10 posted on 03/13/2013 11:27:09 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (ok)
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To: Alex Murphy

2013-1455 = 558 years

Perhaps its time to move on, ya think?

Whatever issue there may be with European moral justification for taking native American real estate, it is worth noting that the native Americans themselves required absolutely no such justification when taking it from each other. Lot’s of weaker peoples succumbed to the Aztecs murderous rule, long before Columbus was born.


11 posted on 03/13/2013 11:28:48 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: SampleMan

Pizarro and Cortes only managed to overthrow the Inca and Aztecs because they had armies of oppressed vassal states eager to overthrow their masters.

All that gets ignored by the apologists. I mean, who WOULDN’T accept suzerainty of a far-away ruler if it meant the end of human sacrifice and of a far-closer tyrant?


12 posted on 03/13/2013 11:33:49 AM PDT by Shadow44
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To: 11th_VA
How could it have been written in 1455 when Columbus didn’t find the New World until 1492 ???

It was written to support the Portuguese in Africa. The later papal bull by Pope Alexander VI in 1493 split the new world between the Spanish and the Portuguese.

13 posted on 03/13/2013 11:34:03 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Choose one: the yellow and black flag of the Tea Party or the white flag of the Republican Party.)
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To: Alex Murphy

How ‘bout we just agree to not name the Vatican hockey team “Fighting Sioux”?


14 posted on 03/13/2013 11:34:20 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Alex Murphy

Skraelings, talk to the Vikings!


15 posted on 03/13/2013 11:34:57 AM PDT by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free.....)
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To: CTrent1564; Alex Murphy

“I wonder if all the Liberals are correct, Mexicans are not illegals as Texas, California are legaly theirs, what say you Mr. Murphy?”

Alex is like Fox. He reports, you decide. LOL


16 posted on 03/13/2013 11:37:33 AM PDT by Augustinian monk
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To: Alex Murphy

We had boomsticks. No decrees needed.


17 posted on 03/13/2013 11:38:16 AM PDT by Salvavida (The restoration of the U.S.A. starts with filling the pews at every Bible-believing church.)
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To: Shadow44

Indeed, some have calculated the native army fighting with Cortez to have numbered 40,000.


18 posted on 03/13/2013 11:38:18 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: Alex Murphy

Did Nicholas V say anything about Casino compacts with States or tax-free cigarette and alcohol sales?


19 posted on 03/13/2013 11:52:59 AM PDT by PGR88
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To: Alex Murphy

I guess the Onandagans don’t have much to do.

Maybe they can get the French to Renege on the Louissianna Purchase.


20 posted on 03/13/2013 11:53:16 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: Augustinian monk; Alex Murphy

Good one, perhaps we also need to have the Indians ask the head of the ecclesial community of England to do something similar. However, it seems even the Indians know deep down what is really a Church and what is not as they made the request of the Pope, not protestant christian leader from England, or the Netherlands, or the Southern Baptist Convention, of the Association of Evangelicals, etc.


21 posted on 03/13/2013 12:05:57 PM PDT by CTrent1564
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To: 11th_VA

There was colonization going on before 1492.


22 posted on 03/13/2013 12:13:10 PM PDT by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
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To: KarlInOhio

Thanks for the clarification !


23 posted on 03/13/2013 12:19:17 PM PDT by 11th_VA (DRONES DON'T KILL, PRESIDENTS KILL ...)
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To: Alex Murphy

Discovery Doctrine was supposed to be used by the RCC to mark off territory for evangelization, not civil control. European powers with a fever for New World gold ran with it. The new pope will not do anything to refute the doctrine.


24 posted on 03/13/2013 12:27:48 PM PDT by Seraphicaviary (St. Michael is gearing up. The angels are on the ready line.)
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To: CTrent1564

Spanish and French explorers coming through parts of Texas and a few small colonies and missions hardly constitute Mexicans as indigenous to Texas. There was a presence I’ll admit. The real colonization is occurring before our eyes; only this time Americans have been selected to lose.

a win/ win situation comrade.


25 posted on 03/13/2013 12:34:58 PM PDT by Sheapdog (Chew the meat, spit out the bones)
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To: Alex Murphy
Sounds like someone’s starting a campaign to become that tribe's Chief!
26 posted on 03/13/2013 1:16:03 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative ("Progressives" toss the word "racist" around like chimps toss their feces)
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To: Alex Murphy

Had American aborigines the organization, the ships, the weapons, etc., they would have invaded Europe and wreaked havoc on those societies.

But they didn’t. Even the vaunted Iroquois were cannibals to boot.

Screw ‘em.

The only good indian is a Cleveland Indian!


27 posted on 03/13/2013 1:17:24 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: Shadow44

“Pizarro and Cortes...had armies of oppressed vassal states eager to overthrow their masters.”

That plus lances, armor and horses; especially horses. Time and again during the conquest, the Inca struggled to deal with the horsemen, they dug pits and set traps, but failed every time. The Spaniards were great lancemen.


28 posted on 03/13/2013 1:27:58 PM PDT by Owl558 ("Those who remember George Satayana are doomed to repeat him")
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To: SampleMan

The self-righteousness of some who seek to wriggle from the finger of accusation is amazing, don’t you think?


29 posted on 03/13/2013 1:31:45 PM PDT by righttackle44 (Take scalps. Leave the bodies as a warning.)
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To: Texas Fossil
I have legal papers that say I own/have title to land and other property. Now someone I don't know and who has not "paid" for what I own tells me I don't really own it, but only "occupy" it? Houston we have a problem. God has a prior claim, but other men do not.

the Indians would say that you bought the land from someone who stole it from them.....you don't own it because the guy who sold it to you stole it!!!from them....give it back!!

30 posted on 03/13/2013 1:38:30 PM PDT by terycarl
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To: Alex Murphy
In the U.S., it is often cited as a way of arguing that the nomadic Native Americans occupied the land but did not own it.

In the U.S., the settlers found an almost empty continent, whose relative handful of inhabitants almost all lived by hunting, and who had few or no fixed settlements, nor, therefore, any solid basis for claiming title to the land, over which they merely roamed. And, even so, the settlers frequently paid the Indian tribes for the relinquishment of their claims to rights of hunting and camping. In this sense, they purchased Manhattan Island and many other, far more substantial pieces of territory from the Indian tribes. Thus, in the United States, it is true to say that the historical record of the overwhelming majority of property holdings in free of violent appropriation-that practically all property holdings can be traced back through voluntary purchases and sales to a point of peaceable appropriation from nature on the part of heir very first owners.

31 posted on 03/13/2013 1:46:34 PM PDT by mjp ((pro-{God, reality, reason, egoism, individualism, natural rights, limited government, capitalism}))
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To: Alex Murphy

I’d like them to identify what land they owned versus simply gypsied.


32 posted on 03/13/2013 1:49:12 PM PDT by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off.)
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To: mjp

Not unlike the State of Pennsylvania, where the Quakers PAID the Indians for a great deal of land.


33 posted on 03/13/2013 2:47:55 PM PDT by Amberdawn
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To: SampleMan

Still doesn’t change the fact that the policy is ridiculous.


34 posted on 03/13/2013 3:14:52 PM PDT by sakic
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To: sakic

Why was the policy ridiculous?


35 posted on 03/13/2013 3:27:47 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: Alex Murphy

Interesting that the leftist NY Daily News had this at hand as their first headline.


36 posted on 03/13/2013 4:24:10 PM PDT by bronxville (Margaret Sanger - “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,Â)
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To: sakic

The entire world has been divided up based on the right of conquest. Where would you like to start with making that all right?


37 posted on 03/13/2013 4:24:39 PM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: righttackle44

I wasn’t alive in the in the fifteenth century, so I don’t feel the much in the way of guilt.

It would be interesting to see how us modern folks would respond in a similar situation. We have had a space travelors come back from a from a distant world and inform us that the world is full of what we need, and is only inhabited by strange animals and an odd species of that shows more intelligence than animals, but is not of the same species as us and not nearly as intelligent as us. In fact, some of our space voyagers think this is just a different kind of animal that we have encountered before.

Is it OK for us to colonize the planet?

That may sound crazy, but it is just about exactly what the Church had to work with at the time in the way of reliable information.


38 posted on 03/13/2013 4:33:41 PM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: SampleMan

I’m not advocating giving the land back. I’m just saying there is no reason to not rescind this policy, now, unless you can tell me one.


39 posted on 03/13/2013 7:51:26 PM PDT by sakic
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To: terycarl

Texas won their independence at the battle of San Jacinto on on April 21, 1836. Condition of Santa Anna’s release was Texas. The End...

One of my ancestors was born in the Republic of Texas.

This is my home.


40 posted on 03/13/2013 8:43:19 PM PDT by Texas Fossil
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To: sakic
I’m just saying there is no reason to not rescind this policy, now, unless you can tell me one.

First, what we are talking about is the papal bull Romanus Pontifex issued in 1455.

The Romanus Pontifex was a specific papal bull. It pertained to the ongoing wars (counteroffensives) against pagan and Muslim kingdoms. At the time, Muslim armies were still marching across Europe and the church was on a 400 year streak of bringing relative peace to Eastern and Northern Europe via the conversion of pagans, such as the Vikings. Monarchy was also the accepted form of government at the time, meaning that any given peoples were not complete until they were ruled by one.

There is no more reason to resend this bull than there is for Britain to denounce the Magna Carta for its failure to protect the individual rights of homosexual peasants. The church also coronated kings, should they rescind all of those coronations, because we no longer accept monarchy as a valid form of government?

This historical tail chasing is simply a passive aggressive attack. The current positions of the Catholic Church are well known. If someone has a beef with them, that would at least be pertinent.

The world was a very different place in 1455 and its not helpful to pretend that it wasn't. The Romanus Pontifex was not drafted in a vacuum, and it shouldn't be readdressed in a vacuum without context. Reopening all of that "context" would likely do far more harm, than any good that could be achieved.

41 posted on 03/14/2013 5:49:31 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: Sheapdog; Alex Murphy

sheapdog:

I think perhaps you are missing the sarcasm in my post. The United states and its primary founders being Protestants are in many cases the first signs of Protestantism moving into unitariansm are deism, as were many of the founding founders, and the doctrine of manifest destiny, implicitly rooted in Calvinism, was used to justify the westward expansion of the United States. Yes, French and Spainish were here before the English got here and yes they founded colonies but I wonder where Alex’s criticism is of the principle of Manifest Destiny used by the U.S. policy makers to justify the expansion of the U.S. to the Pacific.

So in the context of what I wrote above and Alex’s post, one wonders what was the point of the Indian group calling for now Pope Francis to revoke the Papal statements from the 15th century which implicitly to me do not seem that differerent from the American principle of Manifest Destiny which is to me at least, rooted in Puritan Protestant christianity/Calvinism. Why did the Indians choose to ask the Pope of Rome to do this and not the leaders of Reformed Protestantism in say Geneva or somewhere in backwoods United States at the first whatever church in bubbaville MS, AL, etc.


42 posted on 03/14/2013 1:50:19 PM PDT by CTrent1564
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To: Seraphicaviary

it’s not a church doctrine, it’s a diplomatic decree, probably to stop countries from warring over who gets what: saying the one who got there first has first dibs.


43 posted on 03/15/2013 5:11:20 AM PDT by LadyDoc
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To: Owl558

read the book “1491” or other new books on the Americas before all the european diseases wiped out a lot of the population.

Both the Aztecs and the Incas were fairly new empires, who took over the land from other tribes who had lived there for centuries.


44 posted on 03/15/2013 5:14:12 AM PDT by LadyDoc
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To: LadyDoc

“...read the book “1491”...”

Thanks. I love history and will check it out. There are a number of books that I would recommend back - “Conquest” is a good one about Cortez and the Aztecs. I recently read one about the Incan Conquest that was a translation written by one of the conquistidores later in his life. It gave tremendous insight into the Spaniards and Incas very close to the actual events. It didn’t have all the political correctness you find in modern works.


45 posted on 03/15/2013 9:33:59 AM PDT by Owl558 ("Those who remember George Satayana are doomed to repeat him")
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To: SampleMan

So, in other words there is no reason to not rescind this other than you find it annoying.


46 posted on 03/16/2013 3:54:41 AM PDT by sakic
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To: sakic
So, in other words there is no reason to not rescind this other than you find it annoying.

I didn't find those "other words" anywhere in my post. Perhaps you should have spent more time reading and absorbing what I wrote.

The bull shouldn't be rescinded because its no longer relevant, none of the kingdoms it was issued to exist. As the bull referred in the main to Islamic lands (formerly Christian lands), rescinding it would encourage the Muslims in jihad across large swaths of Europe.

What could possibly be gained by rescinding it? Do you really think that if not for the bull the America's would now be full of stone-age cultures riding unicorns and farting rainbows?

47 posted on 03/16/2013 5:52:42 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: SampleMan

Please explain the damage done if rescinded. Yet to hear that part from you.

I am impressed that you can fart a rainbow, though.


48 posted on 03/16/2013 6:55:45 AM PDT by sakic
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To: sakic
Please explain the damage done if rescinded. Yet to hear that part from you.

From my previous post, "As the bull referred in the main to Islamic lands (formerly Christian lands), rescinding it would encourage the Muslims in jihad across large swaths of Europe."

In short, the current governments, who now govern the territories that then held by the Christian kingdoms of the time, would give out a collective yawn, as the papal bull hasn't been relevant for over 500 years. However, the Islamists would declare that the Catholic Church was declaring that all lands in Spain, Portugal, and in the East up to Vienna were officially Islamic lands.

You have yet to state what possible good could come of trying to reconstruct alternative histories. Should the British crown send us an apology for tersely responding to our Declaration of Independence? Would anyone give a crap? This type of historical naval gazing is worse than pointless, its likely to get lots of people dead by reopening settled issues.

49 posted on 03/16/2013 11:18:16 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: sakic
I am impressed that you can fart a rainbow, though.

What could possibly be gained by rescinding it? Do you really think that if not for the bull the America's would now be full of stone-age cultures riding unicorns and farting rainbows?

As I am not a member of the native American nations, your comment makes no sense, as a retort to mine. As a matter of fact, we are now into the third iteration of posts and you have yet to explain yourself, counter a single point I've made, or give any indication that you have even read the papal bull in question. Do you have anything of substance to offer at all, or are you just trolling FR?

50 posted on 03/16/2013 11:22:28 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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