Between 15th and 16th century during the time of the Protestant Reformation in Europe, we find the mission of the Catholic Church to colonize and evangelize Latin America, Asia and Africa. According to Gonzales, this is the time when “Catholicism enjoyed its most rapid expansion.” Spain became one of the most important player in this conquest to which according to Isabella and Ferdinand, their main objective is “diligently seek to encourage and attract the natives to willingly serve us, be under our dominion and government and most of all that they may be converted to our holy catholic faith.” Portugal, on the other hand, used the ocean and the seas in their exploration, colonization and most of all evangelization in its voyages.
Spain started his voyage to the New World through Christopher Columbus and his companions on October 12, 1492. Columbus was the Admiral of the Ocean Sea, Viceroy and Governor General at that time. At first, he was supported by Isabella and Ferdinand who have the government in Spain but eventually limits Columbus’ power because of their assertion of their authority. However, the voyage became successful under the Spanish conquistadores. The first objective in their voyage is to conquer vast lands. Therefore, in conquering lands means conquering those people who occupy it which in this case are the Indians. Problems rose in this conquest which includes mistreatment of the Indians, exploitation, slavery and rape.
As we all know, the method used by the Spanish conquistadores and Portuguese explorers are from the “ideals and principles of the crusades” experienced and enforced by the Church. The Church during these times (1493-1510), under the leadership of Alexander VI and Julius II, gave an enormous power to the kings of Spain to rule over the New World which is called the “Patronato Real” . This means that Kings of Spain have the power to appoint whoever they want to rule over the New World.