Pope Francis apologizes for Catholic Church’s role at Native residential schools
Posted: Wednesday, July 27, 2022
Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church, delivers remarks at Maskwacis Park in Alberta, Canada, on July 25, 2022. Francis provides remarks in Spanish. The remarks are interspersed with the English translation. According to the English translation, Francis apologized for the Catholic Church’s role in the Native residential school system in Canada. He said Native children “suffered physical, verbal, psychological and spiritual abuse” at the schools. Francis also said Native families were also affected because their children were taken to residential schools. “Today I am here, in this land that, along with its ancient memories, preserves the scars of still open wounds. 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,” the pope said, according to the English translation. “Sorry for the ways in which, regrettably, many Christians supported the colonizing mentality of the powers that oppressed the indigenous peoples. I am sorry,” Francis continued. “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,” Francis said. Maskwacis Park is located on the homelands of the Ermineskin Cree Nation in Alberta, Canada.
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