Paul III…

… judges Francis’ ideas on the evangelization of the Americas

  • Prohibition to rob or enslave the indigenous peoples

Now We who, despite our unworthiness, are the Lord’s representative on earth and wish, with all our strength, to bring into his fold those who have been entrusted to us and who are still outside the sheepfold, consider that the Indians, as true human beings, are not only capable of accepting the Christian faith but even more, from what We have learned, run with haste to embrace this faith. And desiring to bring them all the help necessary, We decide and declare, by these letters, in virtue of Our Apostolic Authority, that the said Indians and all other peoples whom Christians might come to know, even if they live outside the faith, can freely and licitly use, possess and enjoy freedom and the possession of their goods, and must not be enslaved. Every measure which contradicts these principles is abrogated and invalid. Moreover, We decide and declare that the Indians and the other peoples must be invited to the said faith of Christ by the proclamation of the word of God and by the example of a virtuous life. All things past or future which are contrary to these regulations are to be considered null and void. (Paul III. Apostolic Letter Veritas ipsa, May 27, 1537)

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