ROME — The Vatican announced Wednesday that Pope Francis had “indicated his willingness” to visit Canada, after Indigenous leaders in the country had repeatedly demanded he apologize for the church’s role in residential schools.

In a brief statement, the Vatican said that Canada’s bishops had invited Francis “in the context of the longstanding pastoral process of reconciliation with Indigenous people,” and that he had expressed “his willingness to visit” on a date yet to be determined.

Canada’s bishops, expressing their gratitude, said that Pope Francis had accepted their invitation.

The National Truth and Reconciliation Commission determined that residential schools, the system of mandatory boarding schools for Indigenous children, were a form of “cultural genocide.” Physical and sexual abuse, it found, was widespread at the schools, most of which were operated for the government by Catholic organizations, and the commission also called for the pope to apologize in Canada to Indigenous people.


Credit…Amber Bracken for The New York Times

The pope has repeatedly rebuffed requests for an apology from Indigenous leaders as well as from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who made a direct appeal during a meeting at the Vatican.

The announcement comes months after the remains of hundreds of Indigenous children were found in May using ground-penetrating radar on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia. Similar discoveries have since been made elsewhere, shocking many Canadians.

In December, Francis is scheduled to meet with the representatives of three Indigenous groups in Canada: the First Nations, the Métis and the Inuit. Those sessions will take place over four days at the Vatican.

Source From Nytimes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Get notified of the fresh news from

You May Also Like

Leylah Fernandez eliminates another top 5 seed in march to U.S. Open semifinals

Comments To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will…

Coronavirus: What’s happening in Canada and around the world on Friday

The latest: Denmark’s high vaccination rate has enabled the Scandinavian country to…

Vikings Were in the Americas Exactly 1,000 Years Ago

Six decades ago, a husband-and-wife team of archaeologists discovered the remains of…

Canadian Forces to be deployed to help tackle Iqaluit’s water crisis

The Canadian Armed Forces will be stepping in to help with the…