Pope apologizes for deaths in Canadian residential schools News on Children’s Rights


Pope Francis expresses “pain” after finding the remains of 215 indigenous students, but offers no long-awaited apologies for survivors of residential schools.

Pope Francis has expressed grief over the discovery in Canada of the remains of 215 native children he was forced to attend a church-run boarding school, but did not offer the apologies requested by survivors of the system that a commission of inquiry said amounted to “cultural genocide.”

In his usual statement to the public at noon on Sunday, Pope Francis said he “followed with sorrow the news coming from Canada about the disturbing discovery of the remains of 215 children.”

“I join with Canadian bishops and the entire Catholic Church of Canada in expressing my closeness to the Canadian people traumatized by the shocking news,” he said.

More than 150,000 First Nation, Métis and Inuit children were forced to attend more than 130 residential schools across Canada from the 1870s to the 1990s, in a campaign to assimilate them into the Canadian society.

Physical, mental and sexual abuse was rampant in schools and students were beaten for speaking their indigenous languages, among other rights violations.

Flowers and tributes are left at Kamloops Indian Residential School on May 31, 2021, in memory of the 215 children’s remains found at the site [Nicholas Rausch/AFP]

He was used to ground penetration radar confirm the remains of children from Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia, late last month.

The school was the largest facility in this country, with 500 students attending the highest enrollment, and was operated by the Catholic Church between 1890 and 1969. The government took control until the school closed in 1978.

Trudeau Friday exploded the church for being “silent” and “not intensifying,” and called for a formal apology and for the church to amend its prominent role in the residential school system.

“We still see resistance from the church, possibly from the church in Canada,” said Trudeau, who in 2017 also formally apologized for a papal apology.

The head Rosanne Casimir of the first nation Tk’emlups te Secwepemc of British Columbia (who discovered the remains of the Kamloops residential school after decades of work) has said her nation wants to apologize publicly to the Catholic Church .

He also said that The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, which ran nearly half of Canada’s residential schools, has not released any records about the Kamloops school.

Among the many recommendations of a truth and reconciliation commission established by the government in 2015 was a papal apology.

“Hateful Crimes”

On Sunday, the Pope called on Canada’s political and religious leaders to work together to “shed light on this issue,” while committing themselves to a path of “reconciliation and healing.”

“These difficult times represent a strong call to distance ourselves from the colonial model and the current ideological colonization and to walk side by side in dialogue, in mutual respect and in the recognition of the rights and cultural values ​​of all daughters and sons. of Canada, ”he said. dit.

United, Presbyterian and Anglican churches have apologized for their role in school abuse, as has the Canadian government, which has offered compensation.

United Nations law experts in a statement Friday he appealed to Canada and the Catholic Church to conduct rapid and thorough investigations into the matter.

Criminal investigations should also be launched into all allegations of suspicious deaths and allegations of torture and sexual violence against children in schools, experts also said.

Authors and dissimulators who may still be alive should be prosecuted and punished, added UN experts, who said it was “inconceivable” that Canada and the Vatican would leave these “heinous crimes” unidentified.

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