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May 4: Papacy authorizes the beginning of slavery in the new world

In 1493, following  Columbus’ landing in the New World, the Borgia pope Pope Alexander VI gave ownership of the American peoples to Spain in a  bull called Inter Caetera.  A document called the  requerimiento was read to American Indians (who could not understand the colonisers’ language) , giving them the option of accepting the authority of the Pope and Spanish crown or face being attacked and subjugated

Any other nation or company would be ashamed of a history tainted by people like the Borgias.   Alexander’s crime is worse because he it was committed during the expulsion of the last Jews, including my own family from Valencia three days before Columbus’s ships set forth.  The Borgia  alleged to be a  marrano (a hidden Jew by his  papal rival Giuliano della Rovere. . After the 1492 expulsion of Jews from Spain, Alexander welcomed 9,000 impoverished Iberian Jews to Rome, declaring that they were “permitted to lead their life, free from interference from Christians, to continue in their own rites, to gain wealth, and to enjoy many other privileges.” He similarly allowed the immigration of Jews expelled from Portugal in 1497 and from Provence in 1498.

Surely this must be the greatest single war crime of all times.  If Pope Francis is the real thing. a good start would be to come to Puerto Rico, prostrate himself before a gathering of the descendants and offer to pay some sort or reparations for the crimes his predecessor committed.


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