The Doctrine of Discovery established a spiritual, political, and legal justification for colonization and seizure of land not inhabited by Christians. Foundational elements of the Doctrine of Discovery can be found in a series of papal bulls, or decrees, beginning in the 1100s, which included sanctions, enforcements, authorizations, expulsions, admonishments, excommunications, denunciations, and expressions of territorial sovereignty for Christian monarchs supported by the Catholic Church. Two papal bulls, in particular, stand out: (1) Pope Nicholas V issued “Romanus Pontifex” in 1455, granting the Portuguese a monopoly of trade with Africa and authorizing the enslavement of local people; (2) Pope Alexander VI issued the Papal Bull “Inter Caetera” in 1493 to justify Christian European explorers’ claims on land and waterways they allegedly discovered, and promote Christian domination and superiority, and has been applied in Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the Americas.
Following an inquiry by a subscriber to the UCFORUM we have, with the generous help of Rev Dr John Squires, found this information about the UCA response:
At the 2015 Assembly in Perth
15.22.03. Doctrine of Discovery
- a) repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery, and its theological foundations as a relic of colonialism, feudalism, and religious, cultural, and racial biases that have no place in the treatment of First Peoples; and
- b) affirm the World Council of Churches “Statement on the Doctrine of Discovery Impact on Indigenous Peoples”, and encourage its consideration in the Church and, in particular, in theological colleges. (Agreement)
And see also
And see Uncle Ray Minniecon’s paper
Rev Dr John Squires, Presbytery Minister—Wellbeing Canberra Region Presbytery, Uniting Church in Australia
blogs on ‘An Informed Faith’ at https://johntsquires.com/
Acknowledging the people of the Ngunnawal, Ngambri, Ngarigo, Yuin, and Gundungurra peoples, custodians from time immemorial of the lands on which the people of the Presbytery worship, serve, and witness.