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Editorial: Will others follow Episcopal Church’s leaders?

August 11, 2009

Law professor Robert J. Miller published an editorial in Indian Country Today on the repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery by the Episcopal Church. This development will hopefully encourage other churches and governments to examine their use of this international law against indigenous peoples.

Read the editorial:

The Doctrine of Discovery is a tenet of international law that was primarily developed by European monarchs and the Catholic Church in the 15th and 16th centuries. Starting with a papal bull issued by Pope Nicholas V in 1455, European Christians declared it was their divine right to own vacant lands around the world and to claim lands that were occupied by “pagans and enemies of Christ.” Europeans then began operating on a first-come, first-served basis and the race was on to “discover” new lands.

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