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For decades, Indigenous peoples have demanded the Holy See formally rescind the 15th century papal bulls, or decrees, that gave European kingdoms the religious backing to claim lands that their explorers “discovered” for the sake of spreading the Christian faith.

Church officials have long rejected those concepts, insisted the decrees merely sought to ensure European expansion would be peaceful, and said they had been surpassed by subsequent church teachings strongly affirming the dignity and rights of Indigenous peoples.


Indigenous Values Initiative, "Pope’s Indigenous tour signals a rethink of mission legacy," Doctrine of Discovery Project (1 August 2020), https://doctrineofdiscovery.org/blog/pope-tour-doctrine-discovery/.

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