Pope Francis is traveling to Canada this week to apologize to Indigenous communities for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the country’s notorious residential school system, where thousands of Indigenous children died, and countless others were sexually and physically abused.
The visit comes after years of pleas from Indigenous leaders and leading politicians for a Vatican apology about the schools, which were designed to erase Indigenous culture and language by forcibly separating children from their families to assimilate them into Western ways.
And some Indigenous leaders say it will fill in one of the biggest remaining pieces in Canada’s efforts at reconciliation over a brutal education system that a national commission declared to be a form of “cultural genocide.”
“Many of us have had thoughts about the Catholic Church for a long time and this particular moment may sweep aside these doubts that have been there,” said Phil Fontaine, the
— source nytimes.com | Ian Austen, Elisabetta Povoledo | Jul 25, 2022