TE24 International Desk:
Pope Francis apologized Monday for the “evil” perpetrated on Canada’s indigenous peoples on the first day of a tour focused on decades of abuse at Catholic-run residential schools.
1.3 Apologies from world leaders Billions of Catholics were applauded by a crowd of First Nations, Metis and Inuit people in Muskawasis, western Alberta province — some of whom were taken from their families as children in what has been described as “cultural genocide.”
“I’m sorry,” said the 85-year-old Pope, who sat as he delivered his address at one of Canada’s largest and most notorious residential schools, where Aboriginal children were sent as part of a policy of forced assimilation.
Referring to cultural destruction” and decades of physical, verbal, psychological and spiritual abuse of children, the pope said, “I humbly ask forgiveness for the evil committed by many Christians against indigenous peoples.” Francis spoke of his “deep sense of pain and remorse.” said because he formally admitted that “many members of the Church” had cooperated in the humiliating arrangement.
As he spoke, the emotion was palpable in the Muskawasis, an aboriginal community south of the provincial capital Edmonton that was home to the Erminskin Residential School until it closed in 1975. Several hundred people, including Canadians, attended, many dressed in traditional clothing.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mary Simon, the country’s first Indigenous Governor General. Many lowered their eyes, wiped away tears or leaned over to hug neighbors, and indigenous leaders later placed a traditional feathered headdress on the pope.
Counselors were waiting to offer support. Those who might need it, and volunteers had previously distributed small paper bags to “collect tears”.
Leave a Reply