The Canadian government considered this Thursday that Pope Francis’s apology to indigenous peoples for abuses in boarding schools run by the church in the country is not enough.
Pope Francis is in Canada to apologize for decades of “cultural genocide” against indigenous peoples
The official government reaction came as Francis arrived in Quebec City to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Governor General Mary Simon as part of the second leg of Francis’ week-long visit to Canada.
Pope Francis asked on Monday “sorry for the wrong done” against the natives of Canadain particular in the boarding schools for children of the Catholic Church, and lamented that some of its members have “cooperated” in policies of “cultural destruction.”
I’m sad. I ask your forgiveness”, the Catholic Church’s pontiff told thousands of natives in Maskwacis, in western Canada, where he arrived on Sunday for a “penitential pilgrimage”, a gesture he had been waiting for years.
Referring to a “devastating mistake,” Pope Francis acknowledged the Church’s responsibility in a system in which “children have suffered physical and verbal, psychological and spiritual abuse.”
Canada. Pope admits Church responsibility for system in which “children suffered physical and verbal, psychological and spiritual abuse”
You Indigenous peoples have long demanded that the Pope take responsibility not only because of the abuses committed by individual Catholic priests and religious orders, but because of the Catholic Church’s institutional support for the papacy’s 15th-century policy of assimilation and religious justification for European colonial expansion to spread Christianity.
Between the late 19th century and the 1990s, around 150,000 indigenous children were forcibly recruited into more than 130 of these institutions. There they were isolated from their families, language and culture, and were often victims of violence. At least 6,000 children died in these institutions.
The discovery in 2021 of more than 1,300 unmarked graves near these schools caused a wave of shock in the country, which is slowly opening its eyes to this past, described as “cultural genocide” by a national commission of inquiry.
The pope already apologized to a delegation of native Canadians at the Vatican last April.