The Catholic Church in Aotearoa has finally responded to Matthew Tukaki’s call for an apology from the Pope. Te Runanga o Te Hahi Katorika ki Aotearoa chair Tui Cadigan said that she is open to a discussion on the issue.
“As Kaiwhakahaere of Te Rūnanga o Te Hahi Katorika o Aotearoa, l have not been asked by the New Zealand Māori Council for an opinion from Te Rūnanga regarding any apology being sought by executive director Matthew Tukaki from His Holiness Pope Francis over colonisation of Aotearoa,” explains to NZ Catholic.
However, Sister Cadigan’s personal thoughts are that any Māori is free to make such a petition.
Two months ago, Matthew Tukaki issued an online call for an apology from the Vatican where he asserts that Pope Alexanders VI 1493 Papal Bull entitled Inter Caetera gave rise to the Doctrine of Discovery. Tukaki further explains:
“It is time for an accounting. An accounting of the Vatican to ensure that this document is expunged, is reinterpreted and an apology issued to first nations people across the world.
“It required nothing more than a European representative of a European monarch to plant a flag or to claim land where otherwise non-Christian people may have inhabited it.
“If they were non-Christian, they didn’t count.”
Tukaki noted the effect that this doctrine had on the world, and what must be done going forward.
“What we have seen is the intergenerational trauma of First Nations people around the world."
Though this empowered the Spanish to proceed with the conquest of the Americas, it must be noted, that contrary to popular belief, this doctrine was not invoked here in Aotearoa. This is why Britain engaged with our ancestors to sign the Treaty of Waitangi.
Tukaki started an online petition which so far has gathered 180 signatures.