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“I bring home a treasure of smiles, words, stories and places,” the Pope greeted Canada.

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After a last stop in Iqaluit, where he met with survivors of residential schools and youth and adults, the Pope boarded an Ita Airways flight and headed to the airport in the capital of Nunavut to return to Rome. After about a six-hour flight, I arrive in Fiumicino. A double tweet from the @Pontifex account: “I came as a pilgrim to walk with and for indigenous peoples. In search of truth, continue on paths of healing and reconciliation”

Salvatore Cernuzio – Vatican City

Echoing the songs and applause of the young and old Inuit, the protagonists of the last meeting of the journey, Pope Francis left the city of Iqaluit, the capital of the state of Nanawud, to the local airport and departed Canada. Thus ended his 37th International Apostolic Journey.

His greeting, hopes for the aftermath, and thanks for this “penitential pilgrimage,” Francis said in a tweet on his account. @Pontifex In ten languages: “I came to Canada as a pilgrim to walk with and for Indigenous peoples: to help them seek truth, to continue on paths of healing and reconciliation, to instill hope in Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. I want to live in brotherhood”.

A tweet for tribal people

Again via Twitter, the Pope wanted to send a personal message to all the indigenous peoples he met during his visit this week: “Dear brothers and sisters of the indigenous peoples – the Pope tweeted – I return home carrying in my heart a treasure made of people. The people who marked me; faces, smiles and words. ; The stories and places will stay with me forever. Thank you all so much! “.

Farewell ceremony at Iqaluit Airport

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Farewell and departure ceremony

Before departure, a brief farewell ceremony took place at the airport’s VIP lounge, attended by the Governor General of Canada, Mary May Simon, and other local officials. Traditional drumming and dancing by members of the Inuit community greeted the Pope. After greeting the guard of honor and the delegation, he boarded the A330 / ITA Airways to return to Rome. The flight took off around 20.14 (02.14, Rome time).

This is how the Bishop of Rome greeted Canada, which has hosted him since July 24 last Sunday, and he visited the four cities of Edmonton, Maskwazis, Quebec and Iqaluit, 300 km south of the Arctic Circle. After flying through several countries including Denmark (Greenland), Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Switzerland, the Pope will arrive in Italy after a six-hour flight. Landing will take place at Rome-Fiumicino Airport at 8.15 am Italian time.

Farewell Ceremony with Governor Simon

Farewell Ceremony with Governor Simon

Telegram to the Governor General of Canada

A few minutes after departure, the Pope sent a telegram to Governor Mary Simon: “At the moment of my departure from Rome to conclude my apostolic journey to Canada – we read -, I want to thank God once again for the mercies received in these days. With renewed gratitude for the hospitality extended to me by the Canadian people, reconciliation and I assure you and your fellow-citizens of my constant prayers in the path of peace.

A blessing to the Inuit community

A blessing to the Inuit community

Report of the Canadian Bishops

Meanwhile, as the pope flies, a statement comes from Canada’s Catholic bishops, who say they are “thankful” to the pontiff for his “historic visit to our country.” “He – they write – fulfilled his promise to express with his own presence his closeness to the indigenous people of this land. This visit represents a milestone on the path of healing and reconciliation”. The bishops recalled the Pope’s “heartfelt and heartfelt apology to the local population” “on behalf of the Catholic Church” and his call to “continue to help the survivors and families of the traumas they have suffered”.

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“We have heard this appeal and will review the updated action plan at our National Plenary Assembly in the fall. We hope that the relationships established in this planning process, especially with Indigenous partners at the national and local levels, will grow well beyond this. Visit us and serve as a base for the work that awaits us”, said the bishops, recalling the demands made by indigenous peoples, including financially, in efforts to promote healing and reconciliation. Among these are greater transparency in the preservation and dissemination of residential school archives and support for the viewing of domestic artefacts preserved in the Vatican Museums.

In the note, the bishops recalled that during the 2021 anniversary, they pledged to set aside 30 million dollars to become, among others, the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund. “We are grateful to tribal partners, governments and the Catholic faithful for helping us make significant progress on these commitments, while recognizing that much work remains to be done,” they said in the note. Reconciliation is a journey that involves us all, and the presence of the Holy Father has given hope and inspiration to Canadians across the country. So thanks to the survivors and their courage.

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