Pope visits Canada, meets with Native American leaders


Pope Francis recently met with Native American leaders in Canada, especially the survivors of the residential school system abuses. He apologized to the indigenous communities in the country on Monday. His trip to Canada is part of his official visit for the year.

The cleric said, "I am here because the first step of my penitential pilgrimage among you is that of again asking forgiveness, of telling you once more that I am deeply sorry.

"I ask forgiveness, in particular, for the ways in which many members of the Church and of religious communities cooperated, not least through their indifference, in projects of cultural destruction and forced assimilation promoted by the governments of that time, which culminated in the system of residential schools."

He added that there is no absence of Christian charity in the residential school system, and there were many outstanding instances of devotion and care for children

More so, the overall effects of the policies linked to the residential schools were catastrophic.

He continued, "What our Christian faith tells us is that this was a disastrous error, incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is painful to think of how the firm soil of values, language and culture that made up the authentic identity of your peoples was eroded and that you have continued to pay the price of this."

The pontiff admitted that the issue will not just end with the apology but a serious investigation into the past will be done. Also, there will be support for the survivors of the residential schools which will enable them to experience healing from the traumas they suffered.

Francis' trip to Canada was in response to current revelations of abuse at Catholic schools which have been linked to Canada’s residential school system.

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