Catholic bishops in Canada are apologizing “vaguely” to locals for the trouble at residential schools, as Pope Francis prepares to meet with local leaders at the Vatican later this autumn.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops agreed on the wording of the one-page statement during a meeting Thursday. It said bishops “express our deepest remorse and openly apologize,” along with church institutions that were directly involved in running the residential schools.
“We acknowledge the serious abuse that some members of our Catholic community have committed physically, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, culturally and sexually,” it said.
“We also sadly acknowledge the legacy of historical and ongoing trauma and the suffering and challenges facing local people that continue to this day.”
They also promise to provide documents to help commemorate students buried in marked graves, help the pope travel to Canada and raise funds for fundraising initiatives proposed by local indigenous partners. Can
Ignoring the provision of all documents regarding the schools requested by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and pledging ڈالر 25 million for reconciliation and healing as part of the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement The church has come under fire for reducing the number to one-sixth. More than a decade ago
The bishop’s apology is the latest manifestation of the Catholic Church’s remorse for Canadian weapons, but still less than the TRC’s action in Pope’s apology in Canada.
National indigenous leaders, seniors, youth and survivors of residential schools will travel to Rome for four-day meetings in mid-December, which is expected to be the final prelude to the amnesty.
The assembly of National Chiefs of the First Nations, Rose Ann Archie Bald, has not yet reacted to the bishops’ latest statement. In August, she said the AFN had yet to decide whether to send someone to the December meeting at the Vatican, but she would not go herself.
“We have been very public and we want the pope to apologize here on Canadian soil,” he said.
The 2015 TRC report states that the amnesty must take place within a year and is tantamount to an apology from Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 to victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland.
Less than a month after the call, Pope Francis traveled to Bolivia, where he “apologized for crimes committed against indigenous peoples during the so-called American conquest.”
In 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appealed a direct apology to the pope during a visit to the Vatican, but months later Pope Francis sent a message through Canadian bishops saying he could not answer the call in person.
Last spring, the pressure for forgiveness in Canada increased again, as hundreds of unmarked graves were discovered on the sites of former residential schools, believed to contain the remains of children who died in schools.
There were also calls for the church to release records that could help identify the children who were buried, often without informing their families of their deaths.
More than 1.5 million Indigenous children were forced to attend residential schools for more than a century when the Canadian government adopted a policy of alienating Indigenous children from their culture, families and languages.
Catholic and Anglican churches ran mostly government schools, where children were subjected to emotional, physical and sexual abuse.
Mary Allen Triple Lafond, director of the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Center at the University of British Columbia, said Friday’s statement would be welcome for those who believe the pope’s main purpose is to apologize.
But he said the statement did not contain “key details” about truth and accountability and “leaves a gap between these satisfactory words and actual action.”
“Because of the Catholic Church’s involvement in running the schools, there is a lack of accountability on the part of many institutions, which is troubling,” said Triple Lafond.
“To date, this scatter shot approach has damaged our ability to determine what happened to the missing children, and the incompleteness of what happened with the unmarked funeral,” he said. Historical record left. “
The statement also did not acknowledge that the church did not meet its financial obligations under the settlement agreement.
– Mia Robson Canadian Press