Pope apologizes for Church role in Canada’s ‘residential schools’
April 01, 2022
CWN Editor's Note: Pope Francis has issued an apology for the role of the Church in running ‘residential schools’ for the children of Canada’s indigenous tribes.
“For the deplorable conduct of those members of the Catholic Church, I ask forgiveness of the Lord,” the Pontiff said. He added that he was “greatly pained” by the knowledge of how children were treated.
The apology came after the Pope’s 2nd meeting with representatives of Canada’s indigenous peoples, at which delegates from the Assembly of First Nations asked for an apology, and asked the Pope to visit Canada to make that apology in person. (See today’s separate CWN headline story.)
Pope Francis told the delegates that he hoped to make such a visit, and said that he would like to join them this year in celebrating the feast of St. Anne, which is July 26.
The residential schools were established by the Canadian government to train young people, discouraging them from continuing the traditions of their peoples. The Pope voiced regret that Catholic religious orders, who administered most of the schools, had participated in “the abuse and disrespect for your identity, your culture, and even your spiritual values.”
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