“We carry this message for Pope Benedict XVI, traveling with the spirits of our ancestors,” said the women in a statement to the pope. “While praying at the Vatican for peace, we are praying for all peoples. We are here at the Vatican, humbly, not as representatives of indigenous nations, but as women of prayer.”
The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers will gather in St. Peter's Square for prayer in the morning. They also plan to deliver a 632-word statement to the pope asking him to repeal three Christian-based doctrines of “discovery” and “conquest” that set the foundation to claim land occupied by indigenous people around the world.
The grandmothers said the documents--a series of papal bulls written by the Catholic church beginning in the 1400s--continue to affect indigenous peoples on all continents. The papal bulls “set into motion perceptions and relationships based on power and domination that are still the basis of legal systems all around the globe,” according to the council.
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