Leader of the Roman Catholic Church sought to forgive the indigenous people
Pope Francis on Monday begged forgiveness from Canada’s indigenous community, apologizing for the Roman Catholic Church’s participation in the project of residential schools which a Canadian government body has described as genocidal. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has requested that the pontiff make a six day apology tour.
“Dear Indigenous Peoples of Canada, I have come to your native lands to tell you in person of my sorrow, to implore God’s forgiveness, healing and reconciliation, to express my closeness and to pray with you and for you,”The pope tweetedTomorrow is Monday.
“I ask forgiveness for the ways in which many members of the Church cooperated in those projects of cultural destruction and assimilation stipulated by the government, which culminated in the system of residential schools,”He added.
After visiting the Ermineskin Indian Residential school in Maskwacis (Alberta), the pope sent the tweet. Francis visited the local cemetery and sought forgiveness from the Cree peoples who live there.
“I humbly beg forgiveness for the evil committed by so many Christians against the Indigenous peoples,”The pope spoke.
On Sunday, the pontiff aged 85 arrived in Edmonton for a “penitential pilgrimage”Canada. He will travel from Alberta to Quebec and the north region of Nunavut. The purpose of the trip is to mend relations with First Nations over the residential schools program, which Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2008-2015) said amounted to “cultural genocide.”
Seeking to “civilize” the children of native nations, the Canadian government separated them from their families and sent them to a network of boarding schools, which continued operating until 1969. Catholics managed 66 of the 139 institutions. The Church of England was responsible for 36. The system was used by approximately 150,000 children from indigenous communities.
The other important aspects of the “cultural genocide,”But indigenous activists claim that the Catholic Church is also guilty of physical abuse. They allege widespread sexual assault and even death at Catholic residential schools. Many activist groups claimed last year to have discovered “mass graves”From Kamloops (British Columbia) to Saskatchewan, there are four locations.
Several Catholic churches in western Canada were set on fire by suspected arsonists over the following weeks. Trudeau’s response was to denounceThe residential schools are a great option. “dark and shameful chapter of our country’s history”And to ask Pope Francis to visit Canada in order to forgive.
Canada has already made billions of dollars worth of reparations to First Nations as part of a settlement reached with 90,000 survivors from residential schools. Canada’s Catholic dioceses contributed $50 million to the settlement and will add $30 million in five more years. Indigenous activists have also sought reparations from the British crown – as the head of both the Canadian state and the Church of England.
Some have pointed out, however that the radar imagery used by indigenous activists did not show any evidence of human activity. “disturbances” in the ground, no actual bodies have been found – only to be Denounced “genocide deniers”By a lot of Canadians.
The pope’s trip to Canada comes just weeks after the Vatican canceled his six-day trip to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, citing ongoing problems with his knee. Francis is using a wheelchair as well as a cane for mobility during his Canadian trip.