The Red Nation Podcast: Papal Bull(sh*t) with Chris Peters
May 17, 2023
On May 17, 2023, Seventh Generation Fund President Chris Peters (Puhlik-lah/Karuk) joined the Red Nation Podcast to discuss the Pope’s recent “repudiation” of the “Doctrine of Discovery.”
Listen to the episode here:
Pope Francis formally “repudiated” the Vatican’s infamous 15th century “Doctrine of Discovery” on March 30, 2023. The doctrine, officially laid out in three “papal bulls” (Dum Diversas in 1452, Romanus Pontifex in 1455 and Inter Caetera in 1493), provided religious and ostensibly legal justification for the European Christian colonization of Indigenous lands in Africa and the Americas.
In 1823, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the U.S. itself inherited this same right of “discovery” from the 15th century papal bulls, thus establishing the same legal justification for conquest and white supremacy. The Doctrine of Discovery was cited as recently as a 2005 Supreme Court decision involving the Oneida Indian Nation and written by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
In an excellent conversation with host Nick Estes, Chris explained that repudiations and apologies don’t get Native land back and how the very institution that created the Doctrine of Discovery, the Catholic Church, isn’t undoing centuries of law justifying the theft of Indigenous lands, resources, and lives through mere statements and speeches.
Watch the episode here:
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