“Your Reverence writes me that you would like to know whether the Negroes who are sent to your parts have been legally captured. To this I reply that I think your Reverence should have no scruples on this point, because this is a matter which has been questioned by the Board of Conscience of Lisbon, and all its members are learned and conscientious men. Nor did bishops who were in Sao Thome, Cape Verde, and here in Loando–all learned virtuous men–find fault with it. We have been here ourselves for forty years and there have been among us very learned Fathers… never did they consider the trade illicit. Therefore we and the Fathers of Brazil buy these slaves for our service without any scruple.”(A letter dated March 12, 1610, from Brother Luis Brandaon to Father Sandoval in response to the inquiry if the capture, transport, and enslavement of African blacks was legal by church doctrine – Quoted from “A People’s History Of The United States” by Howard Zinn)
This is a book, A People’s History Of The United States by Howard Zinn, that my cellmate was reading 10 years ago. He would let me read excerpts but I never committed to reading this book until now, a decade later.(Better late than never right?)
If this is how virtuous learned men of the church felt about the enslavement of human beings, how can we be surprised by the acts of inhumanity that evil ignorant men are committing today in the name of religion? Just my thoughts!
Halim A. Flowers