The Vatican repudiates ‘Doctrine of Discovery,’ which was used to justify colonialism


People protest as Pope Francis meets young people and elders at Nakasuk Elementary School Square in Iqaluit, Canada, last July. The Vatican on Thursday formally repudiated the "Doctrine of Discovery." The theory is backed by 15th century papal decrees that legitimized the colonial-era seizure of Native lands and form the basis of some property laws today.

The doctrine, with origins in the 15th century, was invoked as a legal and religious standing by Europeans who “discovered” new lands and violently seized it from people who had been living there.

(Image credit: Gregorio Borgia/AP)

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