Sublimis Deus (English: The sublime God; erroneously cited as Sublimus Dei) is a
There is still some controversy about how this bull is related to the documents known as Veritas ipsa, Unigenitus Deus and
In Sublimis Deus, Paul III unequivocally declares the
The bull had a strong impact on the
In late spring of 1452 Byzantine Emperor
With the realization that the Americas represented regions of the Earth of which the Europeans were not aware earlier, there arose intense speculation over the question whether the natives of these lands were true humans or not. Together with that went a debate over the (mis)treatment of these natives by the Conquistadores and colonists.
A substantial party believed that these newfound peoples were not truly human. This party speculated that since Christendom was not permitted by God to become aware of their existence and thus bring the
The main impetus for Sublimis Deus was a council held by prominent Missionaries in Mexico in 1537, including Archbishop
In response, Paul issued Sublimis Deus on June 2, 1537. "Pastorale officium", a papal brief apparently used in conjunction with the Sublimis Deus by Minaya, declared automatic excommunication for anyone who failed to abide by the new ruling. Stogre (1992) notes that Sublimis Deus is not present in
According to Falkowski (2002) Sublimis Deus had the effect of revoking the bull of
Father Gustavo Gutierrez describes Sublimis Deus as the most important papal document relating to the condition of native Indians and that it was addressed to all Christians. Maxwell (1975) notes that the bull did not change the traditional teaching that the enslavement of Indians was permissible if they were considered "enemies of Christendom" as this would be considered by the Church as a "just war". Stogre (1992) further argues that the Indian nations had every right to self-defense. Rodney Stark (2003) describes the bull as "magnificent" and believes the reason that, in his opinion, it has belatedly come to light is due to the neglect of Protestant historians. Falola asserts that the bull related to the native populations of the New World and did not condemn the transatlantic slave trade stimulated by the Spanish monarchy and the Holy Roman Emperor.