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Canadian premier meets with Pontiff, seeks apology for Church role in native schools

May 29, 2017

Pope Francis met on May 29 with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Following the meeting, Trudeau said that he had encouraged the Pope to issue an apology for the role of the Catholic Church in administering the “residential schools” that had established in Canada in the 19th century to educate the children of native tribes. Critics of the schools have argued that the institutions were part of an attempt to destroy native tribal cultures. In 2015 a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Canada condemned the schools as a form of “cultural genocide.”

Although the residential schools were supported by the Canadian government, Prime Minister Trudeau suggested that Pope Francis should visit the country to make an apology.

In a brief statement issued after the meeting, the Vatican said that the Pope and Trudeau had discussed “the themes of integration and reconciliation, as well as religious freedom and current ethical issues.”

 
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