Talk:History of Roman Catholicism in Hispano-America
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The Requerimiento is wrongly portrayed on this page as being a demand that native populations accept Catholicism on pain of enslavement. This is not so. The Requirimento demanded acknowledgement of the Papal right to assign their land to Spanish rule, and that priests be allowed to preach Catholicism, but it did not demand conversion. It read:
- ..that you acknowledge the Church as the Ruler and Superior of the whole world, and the high priest called Pope, and in his name the King and Queen Doña Juana our lords, in his place, as superiors and lords and kings of these islands and this Tierra-firme by virtue of the said donation, and that you consent and give place that these religious fathers should declare and preach to you the aforesaid.
- If you do so, you will do well, and that which you are obliged to do to their Highnesses, and we in their name shall receive you in all love and charity, and shall leave you, your wives, and your children, and your lands, free without servitude, that you may do with them and with yourselves freely that which you like and think best, and they shall not compel you to turn Christians, unless you yourselves, when informed of the truth, should wish to be converted to our Holy Catholic Faith, as almost all the inhabitants of the rest of the islands have done. Xandar 03:14, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
It is said that Bartolomé de las Casas responded to the Requerimiento by saying that he didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I feel the same way. What Xandar writes is technically true but not terribly significant given the practical effect of the way the Requerimiento was used by the Spanish conquistadors.
That said, the original text probably came from Catholic Church and slavery, an article which I created although I don't remember writing the text in question. Where it came from is a mystery to me.
So... I can only say "So fix it! Write a more accurate characterization of the Requerimiento and put it in. I'm unlikely to object.