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The Vatican published on March 31, 2008 an article stating that the Gospel of Jesus Christ Was Preached in the New World Before the Arrival of Columbus

"And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."  (2 Nephi 25:26)  Between 559-545 B.C. Westerm Hemisphere

The Vatican published on March 31, 2008, in its official newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, an article declaring that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was preached in the Western Hemisphere before the arrival of Columbus.

On March 31, 2008, the Vatican published in the official newspaper "L'Osservatore Romano" an article by historian Luigi Guarnieri Carducci Caló with the title "Legend of an apostle called Viracocha". This paper is a summary of a conference on indigenous peoples in the chronicles of the New World in which this teacher and historian participated. The conference giving different evidences of the gospel of Christ being preached to the pre-Columbian natives.  
They cited the records of the Spanish chroniclers Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo, Bartolome de las Casas and Juan de Betanzos, in AD 1500 who wrote about the similarities between what they taught Christianity and traditions and histories of Aboriginal peoples newly conquered . He also recalled that in Brazil the Jesuit Manuel de Nobrega in 1549 AD collected testimony from Paraguay Peru.  Various Indian stories concerned the passage of a preacher in the vicinity of Lake Titicaca. The text referred to an alleged evangelist "apostle" of the continent of Viracocha name which was described as a tall man dressed in white, with short hair and a book in hand "who had disappeared at sea".
Luigi Guarnieri concluding his article says:
"The hypothesis [is that] a previous apostolic preaching [in the New World] [took place] because of the similarity between Christianity and native indigenous religions [and because] of [the] many common notions and practices."

The early Catholic Priests that were sent by the Catholic Church to the New World did not understand that it was not "Saint Thomas" who had visited these ancient people, as indicated in this article.  But it was Jesus Christ who had come to the Western hemisphere and taught the Gospel to these pre-Columbus people. In some areas in South America he was referred to as Viracocha.
The fact that the Vatican publishes and promotes an article in its official newspaper, claiming that Native Americans already knew the gospel of Christ before the arrival of the Spanish in America in the conquest, is an amazing turnaround since centuries before, They flatly rejected this idea. A clear example is the case that occurred in 1794 AD; Friar Servando Teresa de Mier gave a famous sermon in the presence of Viceroy Revillagigedo, Archbishop Alonso Núñez de Haro and Peralta and several members of the Royal Audiencia of New Spain. In this sermon, Teresa de Mier taught that Christianity was taught in America centuries before the Spaniards arrived and that this story was dispersed in ancient records of the Mexican Indians. By these words, Fray Teresa de Mier was imprisoned and exiled for 10 years in Spain.
This change in position of the Vatican after nearly 400 years is not surprising, since at present the amount of evidence supporting the fact of pre-evangelization of pre-Columbian Indians is very strong. What would today Fray Teresa de Mier to learn that the maximum Catholic authority has officially released information similar to that he held and for which he was imprisoned and exiled?  (Libro de Mormon Evidences, Vatican article, By Pamela Carrasco)

L'Osservatore Romano March 31, 2008 edition, the official website at: http://www.osservatoreromano.va

Vatican-L'Osservatore Romano, Mar. 31, 2008, newspaper.pdf (On page 4)

Google English Translation of the  L'Osservatore Romano, Article, pdf