USCCB welcomes Vatican statement on 'doctrine of discovery' (USCCB)

USCCB welcomes Vatican statement on 'doctrine of discovery' (USCCB)

Catholic Culture


Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City, secretary of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, expressed gratitude for the Joint Statement of the Dicasteries for Culture and Education and for Promoting Integral Human Development on the “Doctrine of Discovery” (CWN coverage).

“We welcome the statement’s renewed repudiation and condemnation of the violence and injustices committed against Native and Indigenous peoples, as well as the Church’s ongoing support for their dignity and human rights,” Archbishop Coakley said. “In the centuries that followed the papal bulls at issue, many popes boldly proclaimed the God-given rights owed to all peoples, but we must also confront those moments when individual Christians lacked such boldness or clarity.”

“As the Joint Statement points out, there were times when Christians, including ecclesiastical authorities, failed to fully oppose destructive and immoral actions of the competing colonial powers,” he continued. “In this regard, we too express deep sorrow and regret ... As a Church, it is important for us to fully understand how our words have been used and misused to justify acts that would be abhorrent to Jesus Christ.”

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