News by email Donate

Suggestions

Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Pope Sri Lanka crisis May 2022
Pope Sri Lanka crisis May 2022
World News

Pope to visit Canada in July to apologise for abuse in residential schools

by Reuters Journalist

Pope Francis will visit Canada 24th-30th July, the Vatican said on Friday, a trip during which he is expected to personally apologise for the Catholic Church's role in running residential schools where many indigenous children were abused.

A Vatican statement said the pope would visit the cities of Edmonton, Quebec and Iqaluit.

Grand Chief George Arcand Jr., whose Treaty 6 territory includes Edmonton, said in a statement he recognised the impact a visit would have on residential school survivors, their families and communities.

"It is my hope we are on a path to healing and that survivors' truths are validated with this historic visit," he said.

The stated aim of the schools, which operated between 1831 and 1996, was to assimilate indigenous children. Over that period about 150,000 children were taken from their homes and many were subjected to abuse, rape and malnutrition in what the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015 called "cultural genocide."

Christian denominations, predominantly the Catholic Church, ran the schools on behalf of the government.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said an in-person apology was "important - and necessary," adding that the pope's trip would not be possible "without the bravery and determination of the survivors, indigenous leaders, and youth who shared their stories."

But RoseAnne Archibald, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said in a statement she was "deeply disappointed" by the pope's itinerary, which does not include one First Nation territory where the suspected remains of indigenous children were found at a former residential school site last year.

She will not greet the pope when he comes, an emailed statement said.

Delegations of several indigenous nations visited the pope last month and accepted his apology then for the Church's role in Canada's residential schools.

The pope is using a wheelchair because of a flare-up of pain in his knee. He postponed a trip to Lebanon that had been scheduled for next month so he can receive treatment.

He is still scheduled to travel to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo in early July.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email

Connect

Donate

Donate