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Creator Omnium

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Creator Omnium is papal bull issued by Pope Eugene IV in 1434 which excommunicates anyone who takes from the Canary Islands converted slaves.

Background

Christianity had gained many converts in the Canary Islands by the early 1430s however the ownership of the lands had been the subject of dispute between Portugal and the Kingdom of Castille. The lack of effective control had resulted in periodic raids on the islands to procure slaves. Pope Eugene IV was concerned that the enslavement of newly baptized Christians would impede the spread of Christianity and therefore issued a Papal Bull, "Creator Omnium", on 17 December 1434.[1]

Eugene excommunicated anyone who enslaved newly converted Christians but no protection was offered to those who declined to become a Christian. Historian Richard Raiswell[1] sees this as a significant turning point because prior to this Canon Law had only sanctioned slavery in the context of a just war and un-baptized captives, but with the issuing of this bull the only protection offered was if the person became a Christian. Portuguese soldiers continued to raid the islands during 1435 and Eugene issued a further edict Sicut Dudum that prohibited wars being waged against the islands and affirming the ban on enslavement.[1]

References

  • "The Historical Encyclopedia of World slavery",Contributor Richard Raiswell, Editor Junius P. Rodriguez, ABC-CLIO, 1997, ISBN 0874368855
  • "Christopher Columbus and the enslavement of the Amerindians in the Caribbean. (Columbus and the New World Order 1492-1992).", Sued-Badillo, Jalil, Monthly Review. Monthly Review Foundation, Inc. 1992. HighBeam Research. 10 August 2009

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Richard Raiswell, p. 260

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