Papal Bulls: The crimes the Church/Popes ordered the Kings to commit
The destiny of inhabited nations changed as a result of papal bulls issued by the Roman Catholic Church and the advent of the ‘Age of Discovery’. Contrary to what history wishes us to believe, explorers and royalty were steered by the Church and the Pope. It was on orders of the Church that Christopher Columbus set sail to ‘discover’ lands already inhabited. The theory of ‘discover’ has become law on the premise that these lands though already inhabited did not have Christians. The question of the legal validity and the morality behind taking nations and territories though inhabited simply because these indigenous natives were not Christian needs to be taken up. This over 500 year dereliction of justice needs to be addressed and these nations and people need to be duly compensated and these laws need to be revoked.
Two papal bulls (Romanus Pontifex and Inter Cetera) issued by the Catholic Church changed the destiny of millions of people and their indigenous lands became confiscated and turned into Christian Empires.
The doctrine of discovery issued through the papal bulls gave orders to the King to carry out conquests and conversions and turn natives into ‘perpetual slavery’. The same Church continues to ignore and neglects to acknowledge accountability for these ‘orders’.
The ‘Laws’ in existence are all Christian. The Christian doctrine of ‘discovery’ continues still.
Many have heard of the word papal bulls but very few know much about it. Not many would know that papal bulls were issued on human skins, usually that of a sacrificed child or a famous heretic put to death.
· Papal Bull ‘Romanus Pontifex’ was issued in 1452 by Pope Nicholas V to King Alfonso V of Portugal. Pope Nicholas V ordered King Alfonso V to declare war on all non-Christians throughout the world. Pope Nicholas V sanctioned and promoted the conquest, colonization and exploitation of non-Christian nations and their territories. This order issued by a Pope was made 40 years before the supposedly ‘historic’ voyage of Christopher Columbus.
Christopher Columbus voyage in 1492 was thus on orders and to fulfil the orders given by the King and Queen who were in turn ordered by the Pope to ‘take possession’ of lands. There were no lands that were ‘discovered’ because the aim was to ‘take possession’ and have these possessed lands under the dominion of Christian rulers.
· The ‘genocide’ committed by Columbus and all others sent to ‘discover’ lands on instructions of the Catholic Church/Pope have yet to be accounted for or even acknowledged.
· These papal bulls were used by Christian European conquerors to justify the brutal system of colonization which dehumanized people in their own lands, who had their lands taken away from them and whose values, cultures, religions were denied and replaced with Christianity.
· When Columbus returned to Europe, Pope Alexander VI issued the papal bull ‘Inter Cetera’ on May 3, 1493 giving Spain the right to conquer the lands which Columbus had already found as well as any lands that Spain might ‘discover’ in future. Whether natives lived in these lands or now the papal bull enshrined the ‘discovery’ and take over of these lands. Portugal objected to Spain getting concessions and the Pope issued another papal bull declaring that each Christian nation cannot establish dominion over lands in possession of Christian lords. The Pope went on to give Portugal one side of the globe and Spain the other to ‘discover’.
· The ‘discovered’ people or rather the natives of these lands, the Pope ordered to be ‘subjugated and brought to the faith itself’ – in other words to convert them and create a ‘Christian Empire’.
· The doctrine of ‘discovery’ was made possible through a religious doctrine. We need to correct history or our misperception of the truth.
· The Catholic order against non-Christians directed by Pope Nicholas was clear ‘capture, vanquish and subdue the Saracens, pagans and other enemies of Christ’ and ‘put them into perpetual slavery’ and ‘take all their possessions and property’.
· The Papal orders by the Catholic Popes forced western nations to treat all non-Christians as non-humans. Thus the treatment towards African slaves and the manner natives of lands conquered as a result of the Papal conquest orders resulted in millions of deaths. None of the present western nations using the words ‘genocide’ have ever used the word in reference to their own acts of crimes throughout 500 years of ‘discovery’.
· The relevance of the continuity and prevalence of the Doctrine of Discovery was seen in the US Supreme Court decision of 1832 (Johnson v M’intosh) with Chief Justice John Marshall observing that Christian European nations had assumed ‘ultimate dominion’ over lands of America during the Age of Discovery and as a result of ‘Discovery’ Indians had lost ‘their rights to complete sovereignty, as independent nations’. The judgement held that Native Indians had the right of only ‘occupancy’. What it meant was simply because the Pope had ordered a decree to ‘discover’ and possess nations where all non-Christian lands would be ‘discovered’ if non-Christians were living on them all nations that the Pope sent missions to were taken over and declared ‘discovered’ and they all became under Western Christian rule with their laws applying. That these nations and lands were inhabited for centuries did not matter. How wrong is this? How right is this?
· The US judgement created a legal precedent. The Chief Justice used the English charter issued to the explorer John Cabot to establish Englands ‘complete recognition’ of the Doctrine of Discovery. US Court upheld the ‘Law of Nations’ giving rights to Christian European nations to claim lands if they did not have Christians! The lands of America were ‘unoccupied’ by Christians but they were ‘occupied’ by Indians. This clearly establishes the Christian element in the Doctrine of Discovery. The US actually used the Christian Doctrine of Discovery to disregard the human rights of the Native peoples of Americas and this hidden Christian rationale continues to be kept hidden without acknowledgement.
· The unlikelihood of Christian nations declaring that the Doctrine of Discovery is unconstitutional is a reality. The prejudiced system is nothing that the people of these Christian nations will wish to reverse or compensate though some will feel empathy upon realizing how their nations came to be ‘developed’ by stealing what did not belong to them. It is a pity that natives have paid little attention to the historical truths and have preferred to worship everything that the West stands for when the history of the West is soaked in blood – the blood of natives who fought to save their lands, who refused to convert to Christianity/Catholicism, who refused to follow alien laws and cultures when they had indigenous and distinct value systems they were proud of.
· Will the Vatican and the Pope be willing to revoke the Inter Cetera bulls of 1493 that continues to this day or overturne the Supreme Court judgement in the US of 1832? That is when TRUE INJUSTICE will be corrected. That is when the injustices to indigenous people all over the world throughout 500 years will be corrected.
The papal bulls – edits declared from the Church by the Popes created a notion that
· Christianity reigned supreme above all other religions
· People were divided into Christians and non-Christians
· Non-Christians were sub-human and uncivilized
· All lands even if occupied which were not Christian had the right to be ‘discovered’ and declared ‘Christian’ and natives were forced to convert or killed if they refused.
· White supremacy rule – indigenous people were non-white and thus the notion of white rule over black/brown and yellow people that continues to prevail.
The significance of the US Supreme Court decision was
· The US Chief Justice (John Marshall) admitted that the Christian European nations had assumed complete control over lands of America during the ‘Age of Discovery’
· The US Chief Justice noted that US inherited authority over these lands from Great Britain despite the natives occupying America beforehand. Natives were considered as heathens
· The US ruling held that Indians did not have rights as independent nations and that they were only tenants or residents of US land simply because they were non Christian/Catholic.
· The Johnson v McIntosh case remains legally valid though the victims and their views (Indian Americans) were not even taken to account.
· The Doctrine of Discovery was given a new name Manifest Destiny to defend US expansion and claims to new territory (but it is more or less one and the same) using ‘freedom and democracy’ as tools. The Doctrine of Discovery was no law created by Jesus but it became a Christian law, followed by Christian countries and continues still.
Year of Issue
Who issued the Papal Bull
Pope Urban II – Papal Bull Terra Nullius (empty land)
Gave kings and princes of Europe the right to ‘discover’ or claim all non-Christian lands.
(“Laudably”) – Adrian IV
Gives the English King Henry II lordship over Ireland
1145 (Dec. 1)
(“How much did our predecessors”) – Pope Eugene III
Calls for Second Crusade
1187 (Oct. 29)
(“Hearing what terrible…”) – Pope Gregory VIII
Calls for Third Crusade
Post Miserabile – Pope Innocent III
Calls for Fourth Crusade
Esti Judaeos – Pope Innocent III
Jews were forbidden to eat with Christians or own Christian slaves
Quia maior – Pope Innocent III
Calls for Fifth Crusade
In generali concilio – Pope Honorius III
Jews were deemed to wear clothing to distinguish themselves and Jews made to pay the tithe to local Churches
Licet ad capiendos – Gregory IX
Church declares the Inquisition against all Non-Catholics
Cum hora undecima
(“Since the eleventh hour”) – Gregory IX
First Papap bull authorizing friars to preach to pagan nations
Qui iustis causis – Innocent IV
Orders a crusade to the Baltic lands. Repeated 1256 and 1257
Dei patris immensa
(“God the Father’s immense…”) – Pope Innocent IV
Mongolians told to convert to Christianity and accept baptism.
1252 (May 15)
(“For the elimination”) – Pope Innocent IV
Authorizes the use of torture to elicit confessions from heretics during Inquisition. Most heretics were executed by burning them alive.
1253 (Jul 23)
Pope Innocent IV
Jews expelled from Vienne by the Catholic Church
Ad fructus uberes – Pope Martin IV
Catholic Church gave Franciscan priests the right to preach and hear confessions
Ad Repremendas – Pope Martin V
Catholic Church gives itself the supreme jurisdiction of the Roman Court
18 Jun 1452
Pope Nicholas V – Dum Diversas (Until Different)
Authorized King Alfonso V of Portugal to conquer Saracens and pagans and make them servants ‘perpetual servitude’
“We grant you [Kings of Spain and Portugal] by these present documents, with our Apostolic Authority, full and free permission to invade, search out, capture, and subjugate the Saracens and pagans and any other unbelievers and enemies of Christ wherever they may be, as well as their kingdoms, duchies, counties, principalities, and other property […] and to reduce their persons into perpetual servitude” (The Pope’s decree)
Pope also orders the king to make all Muslims into perpetual slaves.
Pope Calixtus III – Inter Caetera
Renewed by Pope Sixtus IV
Renewed by Pope Leo X (Preceise denotionis)
Consigning exclusive spheres of influence to certain nation states
Pope Nicholas V – Romanus Pontifex
War against all non-Christians and authorized conquest of their nations/territories. The papal bulls treated non-Christians as uncivilized and subhuman and thus having no rights to land or nation. Christian leaders were told they possessed God-given right to take control of all lands and used this idea to justify war, colonization and even slavery. The effect the Church and Pope had on these invader nations was such that they committed crimes in the name of the Church!
1454 Jan 8
Pope Nicholas V
Pope approves King Alfonso V to conquest Africa from Cape Non to Guinea. Pope also authorizes to build churches in all conquered areas.
Pope extends Portuguese dominion over all seas from Africa to Asia
(“The Roman pontiff”) – Pope Nicholas V
Pope gives Portuguese a perpetual monopoly in trade with Africa and permits enslavement of natives
1456 March 13
Inter Caetera – Pope Calixtus III
The Pope confirms Bull Romanus Pontifex and gives Portuguese Order of Christ – that is the spiritualities of all lands acquired and to be acquired.
1478 Nov 1
Exigit sinceræ devotionis – Pope Sixtus IV
Church authorized King Ferdinand and Isabella to appoint inquisitors which created the Spanish Inquisition
1481 Oct 18
Pope Sixtus IV
Church appoints Tomas de Torquemada inquisitor-general of Avignon, Valencia, and Catalonia
Age of Discovery / Doctrine of Discovery
Christopher Columbus was no hero. He set sail to perform his role to ‘take possession’ of all lands to be declared ‘discovered’ if they were not occupied by Christians.
Pope Alexander VI – Inter Caetera
Pope granted Spain the right to conquer lands.
The Pope also gave a decree to convert the natives of these lands to Catholicism in order to strengthen the Christian Empire.
Exclusive spheres of influence to the Americas
Pope divides world – West for Spain, East for Portugal
1493 May 3
Eximiae Devotionis – Pope Alexander VI
Church gives Spain the same rights and privileges regarding ‘discovery’ of lands as had been given to the Portuguese. Spain was given to ‘discover’ lands in West – Portugal was given to ‘discover lands in East (these were lands already inhabited but declared ‘undiscovered’ because Christians did not live there!
1540 Sept 27
Regimini militantis ecclesiae
(“To the Government of the Church Militant”) Pope Paul II
Approves formation of Society of Jesus
Super Cathedram Principis Apostolorum – Alexander VII
Catholic Church establishes Catholic mission in Vietnam
Doctrine of Discovery
Written into US law denying land rights to Native Americans by the US Supreme Court though the decision did not involve a single Native American though the decision affected their future and stripped them of all rights.
Sollicitudo ecclesiarum Pope Gregory XVI
Decree giving Church to negotiate after a change of government to place new bishops and vacant dioceses
Rightly compensation for 500 years of injustice needs to be looked at by either siphoning off debt or providing better opportunities for the developing world to develop without keeping them in debt.
A terrible injustice was done to the natives of Americas, the natives of Africa and the natives of Asia. Not stopping there, these countries that lost their land, culture, indigenous legal systems, values etc had their resources stolen and were turned into poor nations. They are kept poor through various global trade mechanisms that favour only rich industrial nations.
If the developed world are sincere they must realize the historic injustices committed and at least now help the nations that they stole from to come up. It is a moral duty. People who talk about injustices and accountability should not forget their own sins and crimes.