Pope meets a Canadian indigenous group in a request for apology – NBC4 Washington

Pope Francis agreed to meet with indigenous survivors of Canada’s infamous residential school in December, seeking the Pope’s apology for the role of the Catholic Church in the abuse and death of thousands of indigenous children. ..

The Catholic Bishop’s Canadian Conference said Francis had invited a delegation to the Vatican to meet separately with three groups (Indigenous, Metis, and Inuit) during his visit from December 17th to 20th. The Pope will then preside over the final audience on December 20th in all three groups. The meeting said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Vatican did not confirm Wednesday’s visit, but the Holy See’s internal news portal reported on the bishops’ statements. Canadian bishops said the trip was subject to a pandemic, and the delegation included not only indigenous leaders and Canadian bishops, but also housing school survivors, indigenous elders and young people.

In recent weeks, investigators using ground penetrating radar have reported finding hundreds of unmarked graves on the premises of two residential schools for indigenous children. The discovery of more than 600 tombs in one school and 215 bodies in another has revived a call for a formal apology from the Pope, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

From the 19th century to the 1970s, more than 150,000 indigenous children were forced to attend state-funded Christian boarding schools to assimilate into Canadian society. Thousands of children died there due to illness or other causes, many of whom did not return to their families.

Almost three-quarters of the 130 residential schools are run by the Roman Catholic missionary congregation, while the other schools are run by the Presbyterian Church, the Anglican Church, and today the United Church of Canada, the largest Protestant denomination in the country. I am.

The government formally apologized for this policy and abuse in 2008. In addition, the Presbyterian Church, Anglican Church, and United and Uniting Church apologized for their role in abuse.

You may have seen the headline that 215 children were found in a mass grave behind a school in Kamloops, Canada. Law professor Nicole Shabs describes the system that puts these children there. In Canada, more than 150,000 indigenous children have been sent to indigenous schools. This system aimed to convert children to Christianity and prevent them from speaking their native language.

Canadian bishops did not mention the Pope’s request for an apology in the statement, only saying that Francis was “deeply committed to hearing directly from the indigenous people.”

He personally invited a delegation of indigenous peoples to “address the impact of colonization and the role of the church in the housing school system, in the hope of responding to the suffering of indigenous peoples, and to provide heartfelt intimacy. He said he would use the conference to express, and the ongoing impact of trauma between generations. “

The Pope’s apology was one of 94 recommendations from the Canadian Truth Commission, but the Episcopal Conference of Canada stated in 2018 that the Pope could not personally apologize for housing schools.

Pope Benedict XVI, who retired in 2013, met with ex-students and victims in 2009 to talk about his “personal suffering” for their suffering. But he didn’t apologize.

Richard Monette’s mother had to attend an indigenous school in Canada and adhere to strict regimens such as washing dishes and scraping wax off the floor. Many schools that ban indigenous languages ​​and cultures were recently talked about when mass graves were found-holding the bodies of students who did not survive the rigorous system. But Monette says that even survivors were affected by the system.

After the discovery of 215 bodies last month, Francis also expressed his pain and pressured religious and political authorities to shed light on “this sad incident.” But he didn’t apologize either.

However, the Pope of Argentina apologized to the indigenous people for the crimes and crimes committed by the Catholic Church during the colonial conquest of the Americas. He begged for forgiveness in front of an indigenous group during his visit to Bolivia in 2015. This suggests that a similar face-to-face meaculpa may be offshore in December.

Canadian bishops said they hope the conference “leads to a shared future of peace and harmony between indigenous peoples and the Catholic Church of Canada.”

Pope meets a Canadian indigenous group in a request for apology – NBC4 Washington

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