A Proclamation and Petition from the Mother Earth Delegation

Regarding Vatican Papal Bulls of the Fifteenth Century


Acknowledging the free and independent existence of the Original Nations and Peoples of Mother Earth extending back to the beginning of time and First Light, as known through our Oral Histories and Traditions; and

Acknowledging the principle of “First in Time, First in Law”; and

Whereas, our Original Instructions and Teachings guide us to have a deep and reverential respect for all forms of Life, on the basis of which we work to maintain the Sacred Fabric of Life for all future generations; and

Whereas, at this time of profound planetary crisis, Original Nations and Peoples deserve honor, respect, and recognition for having developed over thousands of years knowledge and prayerful wisdom to maintain the balance and harmony of life; and

Noting the contrast between the Original Free and Independent existence of our Nations and Peoples and the System of Domination, which was carried with the symbol of the cross, from Western Christendom to Africa and across the Atlantic Ocean to the Western hemisphere, and to Australia, Aotearoa and other parts of Oceania, and Asia; and

Recalling efforts since 1992 calling upon the Holy See to acknowledge the devastating consequences of the documents issued by popes during the fifteenth century (1436, 1452, 1454, 1455, 1456, 1481, 1493, 1506, 1514) that mandated the carrying of the System of Domination throughout the world to be used against our Original Nations and Peoples in an effort to destroy our ceremonies, spiritual traditions, and sacred places, and ways of life; and

Stressing that the mandates issued by various popes found in the papal bulls — “to invade, capture, vanquish, and subdue, all Saracens, pagans, and other enemies of Christ, to reduce their persons to perpetual slavery, and take away their possessions and property” —continue to be destructive to our Original Nations and Peoples and to ecosystems attacked by those mandates of domination and colonization; and

Noting that the theology of domination found in the papal documents—“que sub dominio actual temporali aliquorum dominorum Christianorum constitute non essent” (lands “not established under the domination of any Christian dominators”), “imperii Christiani propagationem” (“the propagation of the Christian empire”), “ac barbarae nationes deprimantur”(“and barbarous nations be reduced”)—has been used as a framework to justify the effort to destroy our spirituality and ways of life, and negatively interpret our treaties; and

Noting the deadly consequences of the System of Domination to our Original Nations and Peoples, our women and children, all Peoples, and the entire planet; and

Acknowledging the importance of revealing the patterns of thought that maintain the System of Domination, which are embodied in the language of the papal documents and in the laws and policies of states founded on the mandates in the documents — for example, terms such as domo (subjugate, subdue, force into subservience, tame, domesticate) and colere (colonize) – language that points to mining everyone and everything for profit over planet and people, with deadly consequences for water, the Oceans, and all forms of Life; and

Emphasizing that the language and concepts of domination and dehumanization are foundational to political, economic, social, and military systems premised on Abuse and Oppression for Profit, even under cover of “World Peace,” thereby resulting in planet-wide ecological collapse; and

Mindful that for millennia Original Nations and Peoples have maintained within their own territories sacred relationships with the ecosystems of Mother Earth and have resisted and continue to resist invading patterns of domination that result in “resource” extraction and forced removal of Original Nations from their traditional homelands and territories; and

Emphasizing that Water is the First Law of Life and that an assured supply of clean water is necessary for the continuity, health, and well-being of all living things; and

Recognizing the critical necessity of inter-generational communication for Original Nations and Peoples to maintain their living balance relationships with Mother Earth; and

Noting that the System of Domination derived from the Vatican papal bulls is destructive to Life and results in Ecocide, meaning the killing of Life, Water, and Ecological systems; and

Observing that since there has never been a beneficial relationship between Original Nations and Peoples and the Domination System, there is no basis for talking about “reconciliation” with systems claiming a “God-given” right of domination premised on notions of superiority and supremacy; and

Understanding that as much, if not more, time, effort, energy, and money need to be put into restoring our languages, cultures, spiritual traditions, and territories as were put into attempting to destroy them through “conversion” and“civilization” (Webster’s dictionary defines civilization as, “the forcing of a cultural pattern on a population to which it is foreign”); and

Acknowledging the need for inter-cultural and cross-cultural dialogue in an effort to resolve these matters and heal our Original Nations and Peoples, and all Peoples, from the effects of the System of Domination; and

Acknowledging the goal of reparations and repair, including the rematriation of traditional lands, including sacred and significant places, and the return to Original Nations and Peoples of any human ancestral remains and sacred artifacts held by the Vatican and other institutions; now

Therefore, we call on Pope Francis to revoke the papal bulls of the fifteenth century mentioned above; and

Further, we call for the abolishment of the political and economic Domination System on Mother Earth so that Life may be preserved for future generations; and

In Conclusion, we ask people to join with us in calling upon Pope Francis and the Vatican to revoke the papal bulls of the fifteenth century and acknowledge the devastating consequences and negative impacts on life across the planet as a result of the patterns of domination and dehumanization found in the papal bulls; and

Further, we ask people to join us on the Sacred Path of healing and liberation on the basis of the knowledge and wisdom carried from the Ancestors of our Original Nations to uphold the balance and harmony of all Life forever.