Friday, October 12, 2012

United Church of Christ Statement on Revocation of Papal Bulls !

Aloha kakou y guatiao, I wanted to post again, for the record, the 1999 United Church of Christ’s (Hawai‘i Conference) resolution calling for the revocation of the papal bulls Dum Diversas (1452) and Inter Caetera (1493). The UCC was perhaps the first Christian denomination to draw attention to this issue and undertake an action to specifically call for the repudiation of these documents. Considerable attention has rightly been given to the recent Episcopal Church, World Council of Churches, and other churches’ denunciations of the “doctrine of discovery.” The UCC “pioneered” this denominational effort. Of course all of this has been initiated at the prompting of indigenous peoples themselves. The resolution was officially submitted at the Hague Appeal for Peace conference, The Hague, Netherlands, in 1999. In the ancestral spirit, Tony Castana Coordinator Kosmos Indigena

Revoking the Papal Bulls                                   

Resolution passed by Pacific Islander and Asian American Ministries (PAAM) United Church of Christ, Hawai‘i Conference

February 19, 1999


Whereas on June 18, 1452 the Papal Bull Dum Diversas was issued by Pope Nicolas V to Portuguese King Alfonso;

Whereas on May 4, 1493 the Papal Bull Inter Caetera was issued by Pope Alexander VI to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain;

Whereas the fundamental principle of these decrees established Christian dominion and subjugation of non-Christian “pagan” peoples and their lands;

Whereas the aforementioned Papal decrees have yet to be revoked;

Whereas in August of 1992, at Yelm, Washington, the Traditional Council of Indian Elders and Youth issued, "Communique No. 15: Discovery—Heathens—Slavery—Religious Freedoms.” It reads, in part: 

We call on Pope John Paul II to issue a special message for this year of the 500th anniversary of the voyages of Columbus repudiating the Papal Bulls of 1453 [1452?] and 1493. Also, the Johnson v. McIntosh decision, which still stands, must be overturned, thereby abolishing the Christian Nations Theory from contemporary U.S. law. We will then be recognized as equal, eliminating altogether the need for the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. Our religious practices, ways of life, sacred sites—including geographical and geophysical sites—will then be protected by the principles of the First and the Fifth Amendments of the United States Constitution (Cited in Newcomb, 1993);

Whereas in 1993 at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Chicago, Illinois, sixty indigenous delegates drafted a “Declaration of Vision: Toward the Next 500 Years from the Gathering of the 1003 United Indigenous Peoples,” which was “endorsed by resolution in a near unanimous vote” (Taliman, 1994). It reads, in part:

We call upon the people of conscience in the Roman Catholic hierarchy to persuade Pope John II to formally revoke the Inter Cetera Bull of May 4, 1493, which will restore our fundamental human rights. That Papal document called for our Nations and Peoples to be subjugated so the Christian Empire and its doctrines would be propagated. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling Johnson v. McIntosh 8 Wheat 543 (in 1823) adopted the same principle of subjugation expressed in the Inter Cetera Bull. This Papal Bull has been, and continues to be, devastating to our religions, our cultures, and the survival of our populations;

Whereas since October 12, 1997, so-called "Columbus" or "Discoverer's Day," an annual global Papal Bulls symbolic burning has been initiated in Honolulu, Hawai‘i calling attention to and demanding the revoking of these documents; 

Whereas on October 12, 1998 a calling for the revoking of the Papal Bulls by the year 2000 was announced in Honolulu, Hawai‘i;

Whereas on November 29, 1998 Pope John Paul II called "Christianity's 2,000th anniversary a year of mercy," saying "the church will seek forgiveness," "atonement," and "wants the church to enter the third millennium with a clear conscience" (Associated Press, Nov. 28, 1998);

Therefore, be it resolved, that President Paul Sherry on behalf of the United Church of Christ urges and calls upon people of conscience in the Roman Catholic hierarchy and in other organized religions to persuade Pope John Paul II to revoke the Papal Bulls Dum Diversas of 1452 and Inter Caetera of 1493 by the year 2,000.



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