· Vatican City ·

US Bishops on ‘Doctrine of Discovery’

31 March 2023

In a statement released on Thursday, 30 March, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (usccb) expressed its gratitude for the Joint Statement on the “Doctrine of Discovery”, published by the Dicastery for Culture and Education and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, describing it as “another step in expressing concern and pastoral solicitude for Native and Indigenous peoples who have experienced tremendous suffering because of the legacy of a colonizing mentality”.

The US bishops expressed their sorrow and regret for the “times when Christians, including ecclesiastical authorities, failed to fully oppose destructive and immoral actions of the competing colonial powers”. Indeed, the statement continued, in recent years, “dialogues among Catholic bishops and Tribal leaders have illuminated more aspects of this painful history and, with humility, we wish to offer our continuing solidarity and support, as well as a further willingness to listen and learn”.

In order to promote greater understanding and foster greater dialogue, “the usccb and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops are exploring how they may support an academic symposium”.