Vatican formally repudiates ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ used to justify colonization

By Christopher White
National Catholic Reporter
March 30, 2023

The Vatican on March 30 formally repudiated the “Doctrine of Discovery,” officially declaring that an historic policy used to justify colonial exploitation is “not part of the teaching of the Catholic Church.”

The rejection of the concept, which has been used to describe a collection of papal teachings dating back to the 15th century, comes after years of pressure from Indigenous groups and some government leaders, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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