Thursday, July 28, 2022

Pope's apology for abuses at Catholic residential schools, in Canada, not enough

The Canadian government made clear Wednesday that Pope Francis’ apology to Indigenous peoples for abuses in the country’s church-run residential schools didn't go far enough, suggesting that reconciliation over the fraught history is still very much a work in progress. [FRANCE 24 English]

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Pope Francis decried “ideological colonisation” Wednesday and renewed his apology to Indigenous peoples for decades of abuse in a speech to Canada’s top officials, who invited him to take further action leading to “real reconciliation.”

The leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics was speaking in Quebec City, the latest stage of his landmark tour of Canada which he kicked off this week with a powerful apology for the Church’s role in the abuse of Indigenous children at Catholic-run residential schools.

On Wednesday, the 85-year-old pontiff slammed the “deplorable” school system and again expressed his “deep shame and sorrow… I renew my request for forgiveness for the wrong done by so many Christians to the Indigenous peoples.”

He derided the “colonialist mentality” of the past — adding that “today, too, there are any number of forms of ideological colonisation that clash with the reality of life, stifle the natural attachment of peoples to their values, and attempt to uproot their traditions, history and religious ties.”

Praising multiculturalism, he vowed to promote the rights of Indigenous people and to “move forward on a fraternal and patient journey … working for healing and reconciliation.”

From the late 1800s to the 1990s, Canada’s government sent about 150,000 children into 139 residential schools run by the Church, where they were cut off from their families, language and culture in a failed policy of forced assimilation.

Many were physically and sexually abused, and thousands are believed to have died of disease, malnutrition or neglect.

Francis has been welcomed in Canada, and his apology — which he first made on Monday in the western Indigenous community of Maskwacis — has been hailed as historic, though many Indigenous people who have spoken to AFP have warned there is more work to do.
[AFP 28/7/2022]

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Pope's apology for abuses at Catholic residential schools, in Canada, not enough


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