Statement by Pope Nicholas V

On January 5, 1455: Pope Nicholas V issues Romanus Pontifex decree

On January 5, 1455, Pope Nicholas V issued a Romanus Pontifex decree allowing Alfonso V of Portugal to enslave non-believers, pagans, and Saracens indefinitely. The declaration advocated enslaving non-Christians from the New World and other regions of Africa, including native people. Additionally, it was in favor of sanctifying the seizure of non-Christians' property. Significant effects of the remark included facilitating the Portuguese slave trade in West Africa. The ideological and political ramifications of the Pope's remark will be covered in the essay.

The Encouragement of Colonization

The words of Pope Nicholas V encouraged colonization in the area. It could encourage political leaders and other prominent figures in the community to invade the non-Christians' private lives. It could motivate individuals holding high positions to take all the valuables belonging to the pagans and the Saracens and all those not following the Christian doctrines. The messages could motivate the development of slave trade among the non-Christians, and this could infringe their rights as individuals in society. This means that the non-Christians could not have an opportunity of protecting their belonging and they could only work under the directions for their superiors.

Impact on King Alfonso's Portuguese Colonial Realm

The statement could have an impact on King Alfonso's Portuguese colonial realm. The Pope's message could give the Christians an opportunity of conducting business in different regions, but it could restrict the non-Christian's activities. The non-Christians will end up working for Christian persons in their area while not receiving better treatment since they will perceive them as their slaves. The government could take the opportunity and engage in slave trade activities across different kingdoms.

Influence on Non-Christians' Political Interests

The information could influence the non-Christians' political interests since the Christians could not grant them an opportunity of being their leaders. The Christians could view them as not being part of them since they are not following the Christian doctrines. It could be denying them the opportunity of belonging to the political system.

Granting Authority to the Portuguese King

Pope Nicholas V in this statement gives the Portuguese king the authority of subjugating the new people found in the land under slavery. The statement provides the king with the power of seeking the lands that belong to the non-Christians. The non-Christians could become landless even if in the previous days they owned lands with titles. The message could motivate the leaders to look down upon individuals in this group thus end up not granting them equal opportunities just like the Christians.

Triggering Conflict and Hypocrisy

The statement could trigger individuals to think that Christianity is the absolute way to follow to belong in the society. It can trigger the Christians not to value other people's religious choices since their leader who is the pope has that belief. It could make the Christians go against their doctrines of treating others with respect and instead start perceiving them as being the enemies of Christ.

Impact on Non-Christian Ideologies

The message will also influence the ideologies of the non-Christians, including the pagans and the Saracens. These individuals will view the Christians and their leaders as being hypocrites since they do not follow their religious teachings. It was evident that the Christian teachings encourage the Christians to be fair and practice equality, but in this case, the pope was practicing the opposite. The message could make more people not appreciate Christianity since it does not recognize the rights of other individuals.

Work Cited

Scott, Tim. The Doctrine of Discovery, Settler Colonialism, and the Dakota Access Pipeline. Truth out. (n.d.). Accessed from

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