The principles of “discovery” come out of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1452, Pope Nicholas V declared war on all non-Christians. He provided King Alfonso of Portugal a papal bull known as Romanus Pontifex. In this papal bull, Nicholas directed King Alfonso to “capture, vanquish, and subdue the saracens, pagans, and all other enemies of Christ,” to “put them into perpetual slavery,” and “to take all their possessions and property.” Pope Nicholas claimed that those who were not Christian did not have the right to be viewed as human beings. To emphasize this point, Pope Nicholas also issued the papal bull Dum Diversas, which legalized slavery as an act of a just war. Under the authority of these two papal bulls, King Alfonso traveled up and down the western coast of Africa claiming all the lands that he discovered, and enslaving the people. This gave rise to a monumental expansion in the African slave trade, which followed Columbus to this country.
Forty years after King Alfonso pillaged the West African coastline, Columbus set off to find Asia. By that time, a well-known tradition of Christian “discovery” had been established in Europe. This gave Columbus the express authority to take possession of any lands that he discovered that were not already under Christian rule. Following his accidental discovery of the Americas, Columbus returned to Europe where Pope Alexander VI ratified Spain’s claim to the lands that he had discovered, by issuing the papal bull Inter Cetera. Inter Cetera granted Spain the right to officially conquer the lands that Columbus had discovered during his 1492 voyage. Thus, acting under the authority of the Catholic Church, Columbus returned to the Americas where he engaged in heinous acts of genocide,
via Columbus’ Discovery.