Vatican City — Pope Francis holds its first Vatican meeting on Monday with a group of indigenous peoples in Canada seeking apology for the church’s involvement in a system of boarding schools that have abused indigenous children for over 100 years. Did.
Meetings with two of Canada’s three largest indigenous groups are ready to discuss the role of the Church as a way to atone for the harm caused by the Church by the Pope, who refused to apologize for this issue in the past. Suggests.
The church has responded to the apology since last year when several indigenous communities announced that they had found signs of human bodies, perhaps children’s bodies, in unmarked graves on the grounds of a former residential school. It looked more open.
The meeting on Monday took place at the Vatican Palace, where Francis met with representatives of Metis and Inuit. More meetings will follow this week. Members of the delegation attending the meeting not only persuaded Francisco to become the first pope to apologize for the school, but also to travel to Canada and offer an apology to the surviving students of the school system and the indigenous community. I said I wanted to. Universal.
“Truth, justice, and healing. I hope the Church can finally initiate a meaningful and lasting reconciliation,” said Cassidy Caron, Chairman of the National Council of Metis, who headed the delegation of Metis. She told reporters in St. Peter’s Square that the one-hour meeting was “comfortable,” adding that the Pope listened and “nodded” when the three survivors of the school “told the truth.” ..
“I felt some sadness in his reaction,” she said.
Since the Pope heard these stories directly, he and Catholics around the world wanted to “translate the words” spoken “from their heads to their hearts and ultimately to their actual actions.” She said she was out.
“The time of apology, apology, and atonement is quite late, but it’s never too late to do the right thing,” she said.
Over the years, Francis and other popes have expressed sorrow and sorrow to Canadian housing school survivors, but all have stopped apologizing and asking for forgiveness.
Last week, Wilton Little Child, former Grand Chief of the First Nations Treaty Sixth Union in Alberta and Saskatchewan, said he had “waited for a very long time” before leaving for Rome. “I pray that he will come here and say’I’m sorry’to the survivors. I think that will change our whole country.”
The legacy of the housing school system has become a national shame in Canada. From the 1880s to the 1990s, at least 150,000 indigenous children, including Little Child and others on the delegation, were forcibly separated from their families by the Government of Canada and often far from the community. I was sent to a boarding school.
Schools run primarily by the Catholic Church for the government were as common as sexual, physical and psychological abuse as violence. Murray Sinclair, a former chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, estimates that more than 6,000 children have died or disappeared during the decades when the school was in operation.
The school aimed to separate children from their culture, language and religion. After extensive hearing, the Commission called the school system a “conscious policy of cultural slaughter.”
Last year, three indigenous communities announced that underground radar revealed signs of hundreds of unmarked graves, including human and possibly children’s bodies, on the site of an old school in British Columbia and Saskatchewan. After that, the fear surrounding the school intensified. School survivors testified at a committee hearing that the children had died at school and were buried on the premises.
Malnutrition, illness, accidents, fires and violence were common in schools. Exploration of more archaeological sites is currently underway in most of the old school buildings in the vast country.
Francis responded to the discovery in June within days of First Nations’ announcement that it had found 215 bodies on the grounds around the former Kamloops Residential School in British Columbia. “We have joined the Canadian bishops and the entire Canadian Catholic Church to express their intimacy with the Canadians who have been traumatized by this shocking news,” he said. He also announced that he would hold these meetings with indigenous representatives in June. And in October, the Vatican announced that Francis “showed his willingness” to visit Canada.
The Pope’s apology in Canada “will be another of these steps along the path to true reconciliation,” Caron said.
The brutal discoveries have solidified the determination of many indigenous peoples to retain the country, and the church that ran the school is responsible for the past. It also pressured Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to fulfill his promise to implement the Commission’s 94 recommendations, including those requesting the Pope’s apology in Canada.
In 2017, Mr Trudeau personally appealed to Pope Francis for an apology during a meeting in the Vatican. But the following year, a letter from the Pope rejected the idea without explaining his reason.
There is speculation that Mr Trudeau may have hesitated to ask the Pope to apologize. Massimo Faggiori, a professor of theology and religion at the University of Villanova, said: “I think that’s a factor to consider.”
The Protestant Church, which ran less than one-third of the school with the government, apologized and fulfilled its obligation to pay compensation under a class proceedings settlement in 2006. About $ 4.7 billion, most of it from the government. Paid to survivors and spent on projects involving committees.
However, the Catholic Church, through the Episcopal Conference of Canada, failed to meet its legal obligations to survivors and was unable to pay most of the $ 25 million in compensation. In September, the Canadian Episcopal Conference apologized for the Church’s role in the housing school system and promised new efforts to raise $ 30 million in compensation.
The last three popes were not shy about asking other groups for forgiveness. In 2015, while in Bolivia, Francis apologized for “the deadly sins” “violated against Native Americans in the name of God.” Two years later, he apologized for the silence of church leaders in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Twelve years ago, Pope Benedict XVI wrote to Irish Catholics, saying, “I’m really sorry” for the abuses suffered by Irish children, including those who were abused in housing facilities.
And in 2000, Pope John Paul II made a thorough apology for more than 2,000 years of church mistakes, including religious intolerance to Jews, women, indigenous peoples, and the poor.
Indigenous peoples of Canada received sympathy from Francis and Benedict, but did not apologize. In 2009, Benedict expressed “sadness in the pain caused by the sad actions of some members of the church” in Canada, offering “solidarity of his sympathy and prayer” and “abuse is unacceptable in society.” I added.
Originally scheduled for December, the Pope’s meeting with indigenous groups has been postponed due to a pandemic. After meeting with a delegation representing Metis and Inuit on Monday, Francis met with a delegation representing indigenous peoples on Thursday, and then …