Fr. J. Augustine Di Noia, O.P. speaking at a meeting of the Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic, Yale University, New Haven, in 1992. Fr. Di Noia is a friar of the Province of St. Joseph and taught for many years at the Dominican House of Studies. He currently serves as under-secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Fr. Di Noia begins his talk by narrating the story of the sermon preached in 1511 in Hispaniola (now the Dominican Republic & Haiti) by the Dominican friar Antonio de Montesinos that helped Bartolomé de las Casas (1484-1566), then a secular priest, to recognize the rights of the Indians. The Thomistic revival at the Dominican Order’s studium in Salamanca gave the Dominican missionaries the intellectual tools they need to argue persuasively for human rights and the rule of international law in the New World.