[quote="Rolltide, post:11, topic:210832"]
Actually, as a professional historian, I can tell you that the current belief has been around MUCH longer than most people suspect. It certainly dates to at least the Council of Trent. Of particular note was the "problem" of the discovery of Native Americans during the time of Christopher Columbus. The main question was "why would a just God create two entire continents worth of people that had absolutely NO hope for salvation?" This issue was batted around theologically for quite some time, until a revolutionary Papal Bull called Sublimus Dei was released on June 2, 1537. In addition to being one of the very first documents ever to condemn slavery (specifically forbidding it against Native Americans), it ruled that Native Americans were indeed rational men with souls. While it did call for the evangelization of current and future Native Americans, it also ruled that there was the possibility for the salvation of previous generations of Native Americans through the natural law. This bull held such force that at one point, famed Bishop Bartolome de las Casas actually excommunicated an entire DIOCESE in the New World that failed to comply with the document! This document, and several others like it from the same time dealing with other regions of the world, demonstrate clearly that this is not just some innovation of Vatican II, but has been a theological development that's at LEAST 500 years old.
Can you show me where it says this? I can't find it:
"To all faithful Christians to whom this writing may come, health in Christ our Lord and the apostolic benediction.
The sublime God so loved the human race that He created man in such wise that he might participate, not only in the good that other creatures enjoy, but endowed him with capacity to attain to the inaccessible and invisible Supreme Good and behold it face to face; and since man, according to the testimony of the sacred scriptures, has been created to enjoy eternal life and happiness, which none may obtain save through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, it is necessary that he should possess the nature and faculties enabling him to receive that faith; and that whoever is thus endowed should be capable of receiving that same faith. Nor is it credible that any one should possess so little understanding as to desire the faith and yet be destitute of the most necessary faculty to enable him to receive it. Hence Christ, who is the Truth itself, that has never failed and can never fail, said to the preachers of the faith whom He chose for that office 'Go ye and teach all nations.' He said all, without exception, for all are capable of receiving the doctrines of the faith.
The enemy of the human race, who opposes all good deeds in order to bring men to destruction, beholding and envying this, invented a means never before heard of, by which he might hinder the preaching of God's word of Salvation to the people: he inspired his satellites who, to please him, have not hesitated to publish abroad that the Indians of the West and the South, and other people of whom We have recent knowledge should be treated as dumb brutes created for our service, pretending that they are incapable of receiving the Catholic Faith.
We, who, though unworthy, exercise on earth the power of our Lord and seek with all our might to bring those sheep of His flock who are outside into the fold committed to our charge, consider, however, that the Indians are truly men and that they are not only capable of understanding the Catholic Faith but, according to our information, they desire exceedingly to receive it. Desiring to provide ample remedy for these evils, We define and declare by these Our letters, or by any translation thereof signed by any notary public and sealed with the seal of any ecclesiastical dignitary, to which the same credit shall be given as to the originals, that, notwithstanding whatever may have been or may be said to the contrary, the said Indians and all other people who may later be discovered by Christians, are by no means to be deprived of their liberty or the possession of their property, even though they be outside the faith of Jesus Christ; and that they may and should, freely and legitimately, enjoy their liberty and the possession of their property; nor should they be in any way enslaved; should the contrary happen, it shall be null and have no effect.
By virtue of Our apostolic authority We define and declare by these present letters, or by any translation thereof signed by any notary public and sealed with the seal of any ecclesiastical dignitary, which shall thus command the same obedience as the originals, that the said Indians and other peoples should be converted to the faith of Jesus Christ by preaching the word of God and by the example of good and holy living."
Also, you might be interested in the bi-location of Ven. Mary of Agreda.:)