Pope apologizes for church’s role in Indigenous residential schools. Here’s why
After a series of meetings with the First Nations, Inuit and Métis delegations, which sought an apology from the Catholic Church, Pope Francis formally apologized on the church’s behalf
Pope Francis apologized for the Catholic Church’s role in the abuse of Canadian Indigenous people, particularly those who attended residential schools.
What he said: On Friday, while speaking with Canadian Indigenous leaders, the pope said he feels “sorrow and shame for the role that a number of Catholics, particularly those with educational responsibilities, have had in all these things that wounded you, in the abuses you suffered and in the lack of respect shown for your identity, your culture and even your spiritual values,” per CNN.
- “All these things are contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For the deplorable conduct of those members of the Catholic Church, I ask for God’s forgiveness and I want to say to you with all my heart: I am very sorry,” the pope continued.
- “And I join my brothers, the Canadian bishops, in asking your pardon.”
State of play: The apology comes after separate meetings between the First Nations, Inuit and Métis delegations and Pope Francis, where they discussed the role of the church in Canada’s residential school system, per CBC News.
Flashback: According to ABC News, Canada has already apologized for the system where Indigenous Canadians were ripped from their homes and raised in boarding schools with terrible conditions.
Out of the 150,000 children who were a part of this system, 6,000 are estimated to have died, according to a report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The Catholic Church operated close to two-thirds of these boarding schools.