No Papal Apologies in Canada “Shameful” Indigenous Abuses: Official | Indigenous Rights News


The comments follow the discovery of unmarked graves of 215 children in a boarding school that had been run by the Catholic Church.

Canada’s Minister of Indigenous Services has said it is “shameful” that the Pope has never formally apologized for abuses in Catholic-run Indigenous residential schools, which he described as “labor camps.”

Marc Miller’s comments on Wednesday followed recent ones discovery of unmarked graves of 215 children in the town of Kamloops in one of 139 boarding schools created a century ago to forcibly assimilate the Indigenous peoples of Canada.

“Yes, yes,” the minister said at a news conference when asked if he supported the growing calls from Indians to apologize for papal apologies that go back even before a 2015 truth and reconciliation commission report .

“I think it’s a shame they haven’t done it, that it hasn’t been done so far,” he said. “It should be done. There is a responsibility that falls entirely on the shoulders of the Council of Bishops of Canada.”

Crown and Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett also said a papal apology is needed to “unblock healing” in indigenous communities.

“They want to hear the Pope apologize,” he said, urging Catholics across Canada to “ask his church to do better.”

Hours after Miller’s comments, the Archbishop of Vancouver, J Michael Miller, apologized on social media.

“In light of the heartbreaking revelation of the remains of 215 children from the former Indian residential school in Kamloops, I am writing to express my deepest apologies and deep condolences to the families and communities that have been devastated by this horrific news,” he said. to say. a statement.

“If words of apology for such unspeakable facts provide life and healing, they must be accompanied by tangible actions that encourage the full disclosure of the truth,” he said, pledging to make school records available on schools.

“The church was unquestionably wrong to implement a governmental colonialist policy that led to the devastation of children, families and communities,” he said.

Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia, where the graves were unmarked discovered last week using a ground penetration radar, it was operated by the Catholic Church on behalf of Ottawa from 1890 to 1969.

In all, some 150,000 Indian, Inuit and Métis children were forcibly enrolled in these schools, where students were physically and sexually abused by principals and teachers who stripped them of their culture and language.

Today these experiences are accused of a high incidence of poverty, alcoholism and domestic violence, as well as high suicide rates in indigenous communities.

A delegation of indigenous leaders met in 2009 with Pope Benedict in private, who “expressed his grief” over the damage the school was causing to indigenous peoples.

Although the group welcomed the statement of regret as “significant”, they said it did not reach an official apology.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission later noted that it was “disappointing to survivors and others that the Pope had not yet made a clear and emphatic public apology to Canada for the abuses.”

Of Pope Francis subsequent negative apologizing in 2018, after the Canadian parliament passed a motion again to apologize to the pontiff, he received a polite reproach from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, saying he was “disappointed” with the church’s decision.

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