The Catholic bishops of Canada “thank you” for accepting their invitation to visit Canada for the Healing and Reconciliation Pilgrimage. It reads: In view of this visit, the Canadian Bishops’ Conference has recalled that a delegation of Indigenous peoples of Canada will be visiting the Vatican from December 17 to 20. The first will be attended by three different delegations, the Medes and the Inuit, each with a personal meeting with Pope Francis. Then on December 20 they will all be accepted as final guests by the Holy Father. This summer, the discovery of more than a thousand anonymous graves with the remains of children near residential schools for children of tribal families caused a wave of outrage. From 1883 to the 1960s, about 150,000 children from the first countries of one of the 139 schools distributed across the country were forced to attend Medis and Inuit schools, and disease, starvation, cold, and at least 4,000 children and adolescents died. In a note released today, the President of the Canadian Bishops’ Conference, Mrs. Following those findings, Raymond Poison recalled that “Bishops of Canada are engaged in meaningful discussions with indigenous peoples, especially those affected by boarding schools, who share stories of the suffering and challenges they continue to experience.” He added: “We pray that Pope Francis’ visit to Canada will be a significant milestone in the path of reconciliation and healing.” Leaders of the First Nations were the first to invite the Pope to Canada, saying “they can apologize directly to the survivors and their families.” The visit to Rome in December was organized in close collaboration with national aboriginal organizations and other partners. In Rome – Bishop Poison says – the Native Mission will have the opportunity to “open their hearts to the Holy Father and share both their sufferings and their hopes and desires for his visit to Canada.” Additional details about Pope Francis’ pilgrimage to Canada and the Rome delegation will be announced by the Council of Bishops as soon as they are confirmed. In recent months, Canadian bishops have announced a $ 30 million nationwide joint financial commitment over five years to support and support a variety of initiatives aimed at improving healing and reconciliation paths for survivors.
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