Romero Institute: Call for Pope to End Doctrine of Discovery
Call to Action from the Romero Institute:
Immediate steps to advocate for revoking the Doctrine of Discovery:
Share and invite friends to sign the petition on our Facebook page.
Get Indigenous groups and religious organizations to join our coalition calling for Pope Francis to revoke the Doctrine of Discovery. Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the appropriate documents.
“The Doctrine of Discovery is the moral rationale for the genocide that European powers inflict on Native populations in the United States and throughout the world,” said Chase Iron Eyes, a Romero Institute board member. “This deplorable doctrine must be revoked if the crimes against our Native people — and our planet — are to be effectively addressed.”
The Doctrine of Discovery was announced by Pope Alexander IV in 1493 as part of the Papal Bull. It characterized indigenous people as subhuman savages and set forth the policy that Christian nations in Europe had a divine right to possess the land and natural resources of the “savages.”
Daniel Sheehan, Chief Counsel for the Romero Institute and former General Counsel to the United States Jesuit Headquarters’ Office of Social Ministry, said that after the colonial powers took possession of that land, they began to plunder it for its natural resources in the interest of creating large personal wealth concentrated in the hands of a few wealthy Caucasian families.
“We respectfully request Pope Francis recognize in the wake of the encyclical’s release that the Papal Bull provided the legal and moral footing for colonial capitalism, which has brought the human family to the precipice of comprehensive environmental destruction,” Sheehan said.
The Romero Institute, successor of the Christic Institute, is a nonprofit law and public policy center that combines investigation with high-impact litigation, public education and grassroots organizing. Based in Santa Cruz, Calif., the Institute engages in nationwide legal consulting, litigation and public education. The Institute is led by Daniel Sheehan and Sara Nelson.
For more info on the Doctrine of Discovery, go to the petition page on the Romero Institute web site, scroll down past the petition to the section called What is The Doctrine of Discovery?
Contact the Romero Institute at email@example.com.