Domenico Stinellis / AP
Pope Francis expressed his condolences on Sunday for the discovery of a mass grave in Canada containing the remains of hundreds of indigenous children. The remains were found at a boarding school for native Canadians. Run by Catholic Priests
“I join the Bishops of Canada and all the Catholic Churches in Canada in showing my closeness to Canadians. who have been traumatized by this shocking news,” Francis told an audience in St. Peter’s Square. according to the translation of the prepared observations “This tragic discovery further increases our perception of past pain and suffering.”
The comments came about a week after the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation in British Columbia announced the remains of 215 children were found on the grounds of a former boarding school. Native Canadians have known for years that some children never return from school. But this is the first time an important burial site has been discovered.
Francis called on the political and religious authorities in Canada to continue working together. “To shed light on this tragic event and humbly dedicate ourselves to the path of healing and reconciliation,” he said, it was important to “Turn away from the colonial model and from today’s ideological colonization. and walk side by side in negotiations mutual respect and recognition of the cultural rights and values of all Canadian daughters and children.”
“We honor the spirit of every child who has died in a Canadian residential school. And we pray for grieving indigenous families and communities in Canada,” Francis added.
Although Francis expressed his condolences on Sunday. But he has never made a clear apology for the church’s role in forcing the upbringing of the more than 150,000 children who were taken from their homes in the 150 years between the 19th and 20th centuries. Many of them were forced to become Christians. were forbidden from speaking their mother tongue. and is often abused. In 2015, a national committee denounced the treatment as a “Cultural Genocide”
Prime Minister Justin Canada’s Trudeau said Friday that he It is “deeply disappointed” that the Catholic Church has not offered a formal apology for its role in the church’s boarding school. Trudeau said that on a trip to the Vatican in 2017 he asked Francis directly. “Going forward in apologizing, asking for forgiveness and making restitution,” but Trudeau said. “We still see resistance from the church.”
Head of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, Rosanne Casimir, has called for a public apology from the church.
Francis’s opinion “Better than nothing But only a little,” said Weldon Coburn, professor of Indigenous Studies at the University of Ottawa. It felt like a tooth extraction.”
“Saying things like ‘we’ll walk hand in hand’ is what the Pope and the Council of Bishops of Canada said years ago,” Coburn told NPR, suggesting that the Catholic Church follow the lead. of the United Church of Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada, both of whom formally apologized decades ago for their involvement in boarding schools for Indigenous peoples.
“Just say sorry and move on,” said Byrne, “because right now it really hurts to look, cringe and awkward.”
Although the Pope did not apologize on behalf of the Church. But other Catholic priests also had it last Sunday. Cardinal Thomas Collins, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto has issued an apology during the Mass
“I think we as Christians need to be especially sorry and regret that we have been involved in that system,” he said, according to the United Nations. Toronto Sun“It’s a government program that takes young children out of their families.
“I don’t know what religious or Catholic groups are thinking,” Collins continued. “They may want to advance in their mission. but to be involved in everything that takes children away from their families. What we stand for is family. I’m really sorry that it happened.”