Bishop Lucia Responds to Vatican’s Statement on the Doctrine of Discovery

Bishop Lucia Responds to Vatican’s Statement on the Doctrine of Discovery

 I was most heartened this morning by the Statement of the Vatican Dicasteries for Culture and Education and for Promoting Integral Human Development on the “Doctrine of Discovery” and its emphasis on the dignity and sanctity of all people and their cultures. ( ) As the statement noted, “Pope Francis has urged: ‘Never again can the Christian community allow itself to be infected by the idea that one culture is superior to others, or that it is legitimate to employ ways of coercing others.’” 

Above all this morning’s statement sets the path for further dialogue with our indigenous brothers and sisters.  The call “to walk side by side” is especially poignant in this land of the Onondaga and Haudenosaunee where there exists the “Two Row Wampum.” It is a 1613 agreement of how the Haudenosaunee would treat the new settlers on their land based on ‘friendship, peace, and forever’.

Today’s Vatican statement gives a firmer foundation to a renewed dialogue that leaders of local churches are seeking with our indigenous sisters and brothers, especially how together we can be living examples of the “Two Row Wampum.”  It calls the Christian community to once again acknowledge its own failings to uphold the values of friendship and peace and the respect that accompanies them.  But even more it provides us the opportunity to grow in solidarity as sons and daughters of the one Creator God.


Statement of Bishop Douglas J. Lucia
Bishop of Syracuse

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