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American Indian Movement of Colorado

Spirituality • Self-determination • Solidarity • Sobriety
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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The running, er, the burning of the bulls

That's "bulls" as in "papal bulls." Why are they being burned? Well, read this dispatch from www.bullsburning.itgo.com and find out.

Aloha kakou and guatiao,

Please join us for the annual Papal Bulls Burning, Indigenous People's Day observation. This year's event in Honolulu will take place on Friday, October 8 at 5:30 pm in front of the Catholic Diocese of Honolulu, 1184 Bishop St. (Fort Street Mall).

Indigenous peoples and supporters from around the world are encouraged to organize a small ceremonial event and symbolically burn or tear-up copies of the May 4, 1493 papal bull "Inter Caetera" in response to the October 12 "Columbus Day"/"Discoverer's Day" observation. The document can be downloaded from our website at: http://bullsburning.itgo.com/papbull.htm

Also, please sign the webpage version of the "Appeal to the Vatican and
Pope John Paul II" at: http://www.uctp.org - Click on "Hawai`i."

Below is a copy of the chronology we had been working on at our monthly
meetings. It'll soon be put together in display board form along with
other items (photos, letters, etc.) for public viewing.


*13th Century Crusades Era - King Alfonso X incorporates the Las siete
partidas (seven division of laws) into Castilian law, one division
explicitly referring to the granting of political and territorial
jurisdiction to a monarch by "papal donation."

*January 8, 1455 - The papal bull Romanus Pontifex is issued by Pope
Nicolas V to King Alfonso V of Portugal.

*May 4, 1493 - The papal bull Inter Caetera is issued by Pope Alexander VI to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.

*September 26, 1493 - The papal bull Dudum Siquidem is issued by Pope
Alexander VI. Confirms the bull Inter Caetera, and revokes (revocamus) all earlier papal grants to Portugal which might give her a claim to westward lands.

*November 1493 - Indigenous resistance to Inter Caetera begins. The
indigenous peoples on the island of Quisqueya ("Hispaniola") valiantly
resist the Spanish intrusion. The cacike (chieftain) Caonabo leads a
retaliatory military campaign against the thirty-nine Christians left
behind by Columbus at La Navidad after atrocities committed by them.
All thirty-nine are found dead upon Columbus' return. Later, indigenous
Caribbean peoples publically reject the "papal donation" stating the pope
had no right to give what was not his to give.

*June 7, 1494 - Spain and Portugal sign Treaty of Tordesillas based on the bull Inter Caetera. The Treaty divides the world in half between the two nations, and is the foundation for subsequent treaties and custom relating to the Americas.

*June 2, 1537 - Pope Paul III issued the Papal Bull Sublimis Deus, which
supposedly "freed the Indians," and is regarded as "the most important
papal pronouncement on the human condition of the Indians" (Gutirrez, "Las Casas," 1993). However, as history unequivocally shows, Sublimis Deus is purely a theoretical act since there would be no need for an accounting of those declared to be "extinct," nor for the tens of millions who had been eliminated by the end of the 16th century.

*June 19, 1538 - Pope Paul III revoked Sublimis Deus at the urging of
Spanish Emperor Charles V. However, there is controversy as to whether the Pope actually revoked Sublimis Deus or the brief Pastorale Officium of May 29, 1537. Revoked or not, it should be made clear that Sublimis Deus did not revoke Inter Caetera (Boyle, 1998, 1999).

*1542 - The "New Laws" that had prohibited Indian slavery and banned the
encomienda (slavery system) were revoked.

*1823 - In the Johnson v. McIntosh case, U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall
blatantly inserts language of "discovery" based on the bull Inter Caetera into the decision.

*1831 - In Cherokee v. Georgia, Justice Marshall rules that the Cherokee
Nation was not a "foreign state" as defined in the U.S. Constitution, and therefore they could not sue the state of Georgia in the Supreme Court
from usurping the gold on their land.

*1992 - A formal movement to revoke the bull Inter Caetera is initiated bythe Indigenous Law Institute based in the United States.

*1993 - At the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago, Illinois,
sixty indigenous delegates draft a Declaration of Vision calling for the revocation of the bull Inter Caetera.

*October 12, 1997 - An annual papal bulls burning commenced in Honolulu,
Hawai'i calling international attention to the papal bulls issue.

*October 12, 1998 - Over 50 indigenous and human rights advocates gather
in Honolulu to demand the revocation of the bull Inter Caetera, and called for it to be revoked by the year 2,000, or by the beginning of the "new millennium".

*November 28, 1998 - Pope John Paul II called "Christianity's 2,000 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."

*February 19, 1999 - The United Church of Christ, Hawai'i Conference,
passes a resolution which resolves that: "President Paul Sherry on behalf
of the United Church of Christ urges and calls upon people of conscience in the Roman Catholic hierarchy and in other organized religions to
persuade Pope John Paul II to revoke the Papal Bulls Dum Diversas of 1452
[Romanus Pontifex of 1455] and Inter Caetera of 1493 by the year 2,000."

*May 1999 - At the international Hague Appeal for Peace conference, Tony
Castanha (Carib/Boricua) and Steve Newcomb (Shawnee/Lenape) directly
address and call for the revocation of the bull Inter Caetera on both
"Interfaith" and "Root Causes of War/Culture of Peace" panel presentations.

*October 2000 - Indigenous Peoples' Delegation (nine delegates) converge
on Italy and the Vatican advocating for the revocation of Inter Caetera. Delegates meet with official from the Pontifical Council for Justice and

*2001 - Pontifical Historical Commission studies the issue for the first
time and rules that "Inter Caetera is no longer juridically valid." Kosmos Indigena founded. Continues to call on the Vatican to revoke Inter Caetera if it is no longer juridically valid.

*October 2003 - Seventh annual papal bulls
burning observed in Honolulu, Hawai`i, as well as other locations around the world. Call is made to return to Rome in October 2005.


At 10:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are neurotically tied to a victim identity. You are presently victimizing yourselves by blaming others for lack of prosperity in your region. "Self-criticism is the highest form of intelligence" (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Turn the light of criticism on yourselves. What are you doing to oppress yourselves? The Catholic Church is not your oppressor. You are your own problem, believing ideologues who would infantilize you by blaming others.


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