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INDIGENOUS PEOPLES CONVERGE ON VATICAN
*Update on the movement to revoke "Inter Caetera"
*Papal bulls may be burning in St. Peters Square this year depending on audience with the Pope
Aloha and Guatiao,
As announced at last year's bulls burning in Honolulu, indigenous peoples and supporters will be in Rome in October to take the Vatican up on their amends during this year's millennium "Jubilee." We are a delegation of roughly 15-20 human and indigenous rights activists from the Americas and Pacific region who have requested a private audience with Pope John Paul II tentatively scheduled for October 11. We are in the process of confirming the audience now. We are also arranging other meetings with Vatican officials and scheduling panel presentations in Rome, Milan and Torino.
The delegation seeks the revocation of the 1493 papal bull "Inter Caetera." This edict was issued by Pope Alexander VI to the king and queen of Spain which established Christian dominion and called for the subjugation of non-Christians peoples ("barbarous nations") and their lands. "Inter Caetera" granted unlimited rights to Spain, and the subsequent 1494 "Treaty of Tordesillas" divided the world in half between Spain and Portugal. Consequently, tens of millions of natives peoples perished as a result of these actions.
This papal edict has never been revoked and has since become the cornerstone of the colonial system used against indigenous nations and peoples. This has been a very painful experience and unacceptable to an increasing number of native and non-native peoples alike. As the Roman Catholic church now seeks forgiveness and atonement for the sins of the sons and daughters of the church, and wants to enter the new millennium with a "clear conscience," we have come to Rome to help resolve the longest running conflict in the Americas. The revocation of "InterCaetera" will definitively announce before the world community that the Vatican no longer supports the principle of subjugation that it promulgated five centuries ago. The Catholic church will be demonstrating its seriousness about respecting the rights and dignity of all peoples. This act will be an extremely important spiritual and symbolic gesture of peace and healing in creating a culture of peace on earth. Thus, we call for the revocation of "Inter Caetera" by the beginning of the third millennium, or by the end of the Year 2000.
Finally, we'd like to mahalo (thank you) everyone who has supported our campaign and those who have signed the "Appeal to the Vatican." We have sent to the "Papal Household" all of the email and hard copy signatures as of March 2000, and have many more we'll be taking with us next month. For those who have yet to sign on, please consider supporting the Appeal below which was sent out last October. And stay tuned as the drama unfolds...
Note: Our web site is currently under "reconstruction"
On Tue, 12 Oct 1999, Tony Castanha wrote:
Aloha y Guatiao,
The following Appeal was formulated at the pre-papal bulls burning gathering held last evening at Kaumakapili Church in Honolulu, Hawai`i. Indigenous peoples and supporters are strongly urged to cut and forward this Appeal to the following Vatican internet sites. Most importantly, please email the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Archbishop Francis X. Van Thuan Nguyen, who may be a crucial link to the Pope. Send message below to: mailto:PcJustPax@JustPeace.va
*Help get the word out by including the following Vatican media sites in your message:
Vatican newspaper - firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, for the historical record, please cc a copy of your Appeal to:
On this most infamous of days, please get the word out NOW.
forward here forward here forward here forward here
October 12, 1999
APPEAL TO THE VATICAN AND POPE JOHN PAUL II,
On November 28, 1998, Pope John Paul II called "Christianity's 2,000th anniversary a year of mercy," as reported by AP, saying "the church will seek forgiveness," "atonement," and that he "wants the church to enter the third millennium with a clear conscience."
We, the undersigned, join with indigenous peoples everywhere in calling upon Pope John Paul II to revoke the 1493 Bull "Inter Caetera." We recognize that this would be a spiritually significant step towards creating a new way of life, and a step away from the greed and subjugation in a history that has oppressed, exploited and destroyed countless numbers of indigenous peoples throughout the world.
The Bull "Inter Caetera," like many other edicts issued before it by the Vatican, established Christian dominion and subjugation of non-Christian peoples and their lands. It has yet to be revoked. (rev. 10/19/99)