Francisco will ask forgiveness for the abuses committed for more than a century against indigenous minors in Catholic boarding schools in Canada. And he will do so by traveling to that country, as announced by the Sala Stampa of the Holy See. Bergoglio, who will host a representation of these communities in Rome in December, has lamented the horror of the abuses against 150,000 minors, which claimed at least 4,300 deaths. The discovery of several mass graves revealed the magnitude of the tragedy.
Indigenous people demand a reckoning with colonial history throughout the Americas
“The Episcopal Conference of Canada has invited the Holy Father Francis to make an apostolic visit to Canada, also in the context of the pastoral process, underway for some time, of reconciliation with indigenous peoples,” he says, in a brief note, the Vatican, which adds that “His Holiness has expressed his willingness to go to the country on a date to be set later.”
In December, representatives of indigenous communities will go to Rome, invited by Bergoglio, who has been “embarrassed” by the discovery of several mass graves in some Catholic schools, with the remains of hundreds of children.
Through of a report published by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015, declared that a cultural genocide was committed in which more than 4,300 children died while attending these schools. This body created by the Canadian government in 2008 seeks testimonies about indigenous internees to clarify what happened in those places. Around 150,000 indigenous children were separated from their families and enrolled in these schools from 1830 to 1996.
Last September, the Canadian Bishops’ Conference recognized “with deep remorse” the “serious abuses committed by some members of our Catholic community; physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, cultural and sexual.”
After the discovery of more than 1,100 remains of indigenous minors in Canada, on the grounds of the former St. Eugene Mission School residence, at the Marieval Indian Residential School in the province of Saskatchewan and at the Kamloops School, the Catholic Church Canadian took responsibility for the events, asking for a formal apology. The Canadian government recognized that all kinds of harassment were perpetrated in these internees, including physical and sexual abuse of minors.
The Catholic bishops of Canada offered a written apology. “We acknowledge the grave abuses committed by some members of our Catholic community. We also acknowledge with regret the ongoing and historical trauma and the legacy of suffering and challenges faced by indigenous peoples that continue to this day. We, the Catholic Bishops of Canada , we express our deep regret and unequivocally apologize “, read the statement.
Canada is trying to remedy one of the most controversial episodes in its recent history, in which racism and oppression against the nation’s original minorities were the protagonists. A papal trip would undoubtedly contribute to this.
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