Minute on the Doctrine of Discovery, Approved July 25, 2012, New York Yearly Meeting Summer Sessions Silver Bay, New York
Pope Nicholas V first articulated the Doctrine of Discovery in the papal bull Dum Diversas in 1452. The Doctrine of Discovery consists of the idea that Christians have a right sanctioned by God to take non-Christian lands and property and assert political control over the indigenous inhabitants.
Before we judge the papal edicts too harshly, we need to know of the Anglican connection to this Doctrine of Discovery.
…the Doctrine of Discovery consists of the idea that Christians have a right sanctioned by God to take non-Christian lands and property and assert political control over the indigenous inhabitants. The Doctrine of Discovery emanates from a perverted understanding of God’s designation of a chosen people that has heavenly sanction to do un-God-like acts in the name of God.
That the 76th General Convention repudiates and renounces the Doctrine of Discovery as fundamentally opposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and our understanding of the inherent rights that individuals and peoples have received from God, and that this declaration be proclaimed among our churches and shared with the United Nations and all the nations and peoples located within The Episcopal Church’s boundaries.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on the Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery
Roman Catholic Organization Statements Repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery.
A conversation on the doctrine of discovery will always entail a discussion of Native American or Indigenous lands. Moreover, because the doctrine has been a central part of U.S. law regarding tribal lands, the Presbyterian Church has played a major role historically in the implementation of the doctrine.
Anglican Church of Canada’s statement repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery.
With the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the General Assembly of the United Nations, we finally took our place at the table of humanity in 2007.