Pope Francis Willing To Visit Canada To Facilitate Reconciliation With Indigenous People
MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 28th October, 2021) Pope Francis is willing to pay an apostolic visit to Canada at the invitation of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to help efforts to reconcile with Indigenous people following disturbing revelations about the death of hundreds of indigenous children at former residential schools, the Holy See Press Office said on Wednesday.
Earlier in September, the Catholic Church of Canada apologized to the country's indigenous peoples for the suffering caused to children in former church-run residential schools, following the scandal over the shocking discovery in May of the remains of 215 Indigenous children in a former indigenous residential school in Kamloops in the province of British Columbia.
"The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has invited the Holy Father to make an apostolic journey to Canada, also in the context of the long-standing pastoral process of reconciliation with indigenous peoples. His Holiness has indicated his willingness to visit the country on a date to be settled in due course," the Holy See Press Office said in the statement.
In June, Pope Francis reached out to the Catholic Church of Canada, expressing his pain for the "shocking discovery" and calling on Canada's political and religious authorities to embark on "a path of reconciliation and healing."
In late May, the remains of 215 children were found in the Canadian province of British Columbia, on the territory of a former boarding school, which operated in 1890-1969 under the control of the Catholic Church, later came under the control of the Federal government and existed until 1978.
According to Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission report, released in 2015, roughly 150,000 aboriginal children were forcibly assimilated through the residential schools from 1883 to 1998, in a process equated to "cultural genocide." The report uncovered around 3,200 died in the schools, with the greatest number of deaths taking place before 1940.