Pope apologizes for ‘evil’ in Canada

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church apologized to the local community

Pope Francis begged forgiveness from Canada’s indigenous community on Monday, apologizing for his involvement in the Roman Catholic Church’s residential school project that a Canadian government agency has described as genocide. The Pope is on a six-day apology visit to Canada, which was called for by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last year.

“Dear Indigenous People of Canada, I have come to your homelands to tell you my grief in person, to ask God for forgiveness, healing and reconciliation, to express my closeness and to pray with you and for you. I will.” Roman Catholic priest Tweeted on Monday.

“I apologize for the ways in which many members of the church contributed to the cultural destruction and assimilation planned by the government, which culminated in the residential school system.” he added.

The tweet came as the Pope visited the former site of the Armenian Indian Residential School in Moscow, Alberta. While visiting the local cemetery, Francis apologized to the four Cree nations who live in the area.

“I humbly apologize for the evil done by so many Christians against the natives,” said the Pope.

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The 85-year-old Pope arrived in Edmonton on Sunday “The Pilgrimage of Repentance” Canada that will take him from Alberta to Quebec as well as the remote area of ​​Nunavut. The purpose of the trip is to improve relations with First Nations over the residential schools program, which Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2008-2015) said “Cultural Genocide”

In an effort to “civilize” Indigenous children, the Canadian government separated them from their families and sent them to a network of boarding schools, which operated until 1969. Catholics ran 66 of the 139 institutions, which were overseen by the Church of England. For another 36. An estimated 150,000 indigenous children passed through the system.

except for “Cultural Genocide” However, local activists have also accused the Catholic Church of a physical nature, and alleged widespread sexual abuse and even deaths in residential schools. Last year, several activist groups claimed to have found them. “Mass Graves” At four sites, from Kamloops, British Columbia to Saskatchewan.

In the weeks that followed, a number of Catholic churches in western Canada were hit by suspected arson attacks. was Trudeau’s response. Condemnation Residential schools as a A dark and shameful chapter in our country’s history And called on Pope Francis to come to Canada and apologize.

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Canada has already paid billions of dollars in compensation to First Nations in a settlement with 90,000 residential school student survivors. Catholic dioceses in Canada have contributed nearly $50 million, and plan to add another $30 million over the next five years. Indigenous activists have also sought compensation from the British Crown – as head of both the Canadian state and the Church of England.

Some critics have pointed out that while the radar image cited by local activists is shown. “trouble” In the land, no real bodies are found – only to be condemned. “genocide deniers” Mostly by the Canadian public.

The pope’s visit to Canada comes just weeks after the Vatican canceled a six-day visit to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, citing ongoing problems with his knee. Francis has been using a wheelchair and cane to get around during his visit to Canada.