July 3, 2022

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The Catholic Church apologizes for abuses against indigenous peoples in Canada

The Council of Bishops of Canada has expressed its “regret” over the mistreatment and death of thousands of Indigenous children in schools handed over by the government to Catholic communities as part of a policy to reunite indigenous peoples. A story that erupted after the discovery of human remains last summer is near companies. Commitment to reconciliation and hopes for the Pope’s December meeting with local representatives

Salvatore Cernuzio – Vatican City

“We express our deepest condolences and unequivocally apologize.” The Catholic Bishops of Canada, who came together wholeheartedly this week, delivered a sad Maya Gulpa through them A note This summer, after the discovery of a thousand anonymous graves with the remains of tribal children near residential schools, a formal apology to the tribal people. These were handed over to local Christian churches, including schools and the Catholic Church, founded by the Canadian government in the late 19th century.

More than 4,000 children died from mistreatment and inconvenience

Between 1883 and 1960, children from about 150,000 countries, including Medes and Inuit, were forced to attend one of these 139 schools across the country, which severed ties with their families, their language and culture. This decision is part of the federal government’s policy of integrating indigenous peoples. In 2015, after seven years of research, the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission released a report detailing the poor treatment and conditions and malnutrition of these children. At least 4,000 children and adolescents died of disease, hunger, and cold over the age of 80.

M Gulpa of Bishops: Serious Abuses

The viceroys of Canada, almost identifying it as “an organization”, today acknowledge that “many religious communities and dioceses are involved in this system”: it led to “repression” of tribal languages, culture and spirituality and above all. Does not respect the rich history, traditions and wisdom of the indigenous people. “We painfully acknowledge the legacy of the historical and continual shocks and sufferings and challenges faced by the tribal people to this day,” reads the bishops’ statement condemning the “grave abuses” committed by some members. Catholic community: Abuses of “physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, cultural and sexual”.

People hug in front of a temporary monument at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School (June 2021)

People hug in front of a temporary monument at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School (June 2021)

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Commitment to healing

Pope Francis’ full commitment to the healing and reconciliation process was confirmed on June 6 in Angeles after 215 human remains were found in May at the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School. A few weeks later, 715 anonymous graves were discovered near the Marival Indian Residential School. The gruesome discovery provoked fear and outrage across the country, as well as fierce reactions against the Catholic Church, which set fire to four churches in the province of British Columbia.

Words of the Pope in Angels

“It simply came to our notice thenAngeles on June 6th – Further enhances awareness of past pains and sufferings. May the political and religious authorities of Canada continue to work together to shed light on that tragic story and to work diligently for the cause of reconciliation and healing. These difficult times signify a strong call for all of us to move away from the colonial model and today’s ideological colonialism and to walk side by side in dialogue and mutual respect and recognition of rights and cultural values. Daughters and sons of Canada. ”

Meeting with Native People at the Vatican

Pope Francis – Remember the Bishops of Canada – will receive representatives of the indigenous peoples at the Vatican from December 17 to December 20: three different talks with the first nations, the Inuit and Medes groups, and then the final joint audience. The bishops note that this will be an opportunity to “understand how he can support our common desire to renew relationships and move together on the path of hope in the years to come.” The Conference of Bishops also affirms the commitment to “work with St. See and our Native Partners on the Possibilities of the Pope’s Visit to Canada as part of this healing journey.”

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Initiatives and fundraising in dioceses

In the meantime, the Canadian Church is recalling, in addition to the pastoral efforts being made in the dioceses, as a “firm expression of this lasting commitment” to reconciliation, the fundraising initiated to support locally discussed initiatives with local partners in each region. “We invite the Indigenous people to travel with us into the new era of reconciliation – reading the last lines of the proclamation – to help prioritize the healing efforts of the indigenous people in each of our dioceses across the country, especially the survivors in Indian boarding schools, and to educate and sanctify our clergy. And women, and believers in indigenous cultures and spirituality.

The bishops’ apologies come less than a week after the first National Truth and Reconciliation Day for missing children and survivors of boarding schools scheduled for September 30.