The Thirteen Grandmothers Open Statement
His Holiness, Pope Benedict XV
We, the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, from regions throughout the world, hereby make this open statement for and to the Vatican. We do so in a good and prayerful way, for peace and the healing of Mother Earth. We carry this message for Pope Benedict XVI. We travel with the spirits of our ancestors who are always with us and guiding us in their own dimension.
Our trip to the Vatican is part of our journey on a spiritual path, a feminine movement of Grandmotherly nurturing and prayerful energy for the sake of our respective indigenous nations, and for all peoples, and all living things; We include the bird nations, the plant nations, the water nations, the animal nations, including the nations that live in the oceans and other bodies of water, the sacred life-blood of Mother Earth.
Unfortunately, today the waters of the Earth are being made toxic by a modern and poisonous way of life. So toxic are the waters and the environment in which we all live today that a young mother’s womb often contains hundreds of toxic chemicals that are harmful to developing cells of the unborn, and negatively affect the child when born. Such destructive patterns are the result of a diseased way of life. From a grandmother’s perspective this is unacceptable.
A key to healing disease is a correct diagnosis. In order to heal the planet, we as humans must stop repeating the patterns of thought and behavior that produce illness and disease. Thus, as the International Council of Thirteen Grandmothers, we are traveling in prayer to the Vatican to make an historical accounting regarding many documents issued by the Holy See in the fifteenth century that well represent those patterns of thought and behavior that are resulting in so much planetary disease at this time. Those documents set into motion a runaway train that is still moving full speed ahead, and that continues to wreak havoc on indigenous nations and peoples throughout the world, and on all living things.
The relationship between nation-states and indigenous peoples in the Americas, Africa, and Oceania still rests on the foundation of the “doctrine of conquest” or alternatively, the “doctrine of discovery.” The origins of the governmental doctrines of “conquest” and “discovery” may be traced directly to various medieval papal bulls and edicts, notably the bulls Dum Diversas, June 18, 1452, Romanus Pontifex, January 8, 1455, and Inter Caetera, May 4, 1493. These papal edicts granted dominion to European nations over lands which had been occupied by indigenous peoples for thousands of years. They also laid the basis for the European “Age of Discovery”, setting in motion a disastrous chain of events which ultimately resulted in the outright theft of entire continents from indigenous peoples worldwide.
We are traveling to the Vatican because we still practice our ways, still speak our languages, and carry on our ceremonial traditions. Our respective nations are still here. We have survived despite a history of genocide, and despite historical and present day trauma. We bear the residue of that legacy and we are working to heal it for ourselves and for our respective peoples. We are raising the issue of the papal bulls because the system of government domination contained in those documents has been institutionalized in the laws and policies of many countries where they remain to this day. We can no longer live on the surface of those tragic happenings that our peoples have experienced. The truth must be told.
Revocation of the papal bulls will remove the keystone of legal authority upon which the doctrines of Christian conquest, discovery, and dominion were constructed and continue to exist. We, the International Council of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, therefore call upon Pope Benedict XVI to retract the Dum Diversas Bull, the Romanus Pontifex Bull, and the Inter Caetera Bull, and all related papal doctrines, thereby reaffirming the Roman Catholic Church’s recognition that all peoples on the Earth are equal before our Creator, and that our nations and peoples have the inherent right to live free of all forms of domination.
October 22, 2005
A friend sent this along and I found it too powerful not to post as is. It is a great testament to both human resilience, and to the power our religious worldviews and mental models carry in the shaping of politics. It is also a testament to the rising voice of women as they step forward to help lead us into a vision of a new world of thrivability.
So here is a hearty “Thank you!” to The Thirteen Grandmothers whom I’ve been blessed to be with a couple of times.
You can read more about the power of our worldviews and mental models in numerous posts on this blog, including For the Sake of a Worldview...