Pope Francis reiterated his expressions of pain and shame for the attacks on indigenous people in Canada

Pope Francis reiterated his expressions of pain and shame for the attacks on indigenous people in Canada

Pope Francis denounced the ideological colonization and the cancellation policy as signs of intolerance

Pope Francis on Wednesday denounced “ideological colonization” and renewed his apology to indigenous peoples for decades of abuse, during a speech to senior Canadian officials.

The 85-year-old pontiff on Wednesday lashed out at the “deplorable” school system, again expressing his “deep shame and pain… I renew my request for forgiveness for the evil done by so many Christians to the indigenous peoples”.

Francis criticized the “colonialist mentality” of the past, adding that Even today there are numerous forms of ideological colonization that collide with the reality of life They stifle the natural attachment of peoples to their values ​​and try to uproot their traditions, their history and their religious ties”. In his speech, the pontiff defended multiculturalism and pledged to promote the rights of indigenous peoples and to “advance on a fraternal and patient path… working for healing and reconciliation.”

From the late 19th century to the 1990s, the Canadian government sent some 150,000 children to 139 Church-run boarding schools, where they were cut off from their families, language and culture, in an attempt at forced assimilation. Many suffered physical and sexual abuse, and thousands are believed to have died from disease, malnutrition or neglect.

Pope Francis’ repeated apologies during his visit have been well received in Canada although many indigenous people who have spoken with the AFP They have warned that there is a long way to go. Mary Simon, Canada’s first indigenous governor-general, reminded Francis of the work ahead Wednesday in Quebec in the presence of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“Regardless of where you listen to us from … you are on indigenous land,” he said.

Simon praised the survivors of Catholic boarding schools who came to hear the pope “with open hearts and minds, some willing to forgive and others still living in pain, but all willing to listen.” The pontiff’s visit, the governor added, it has been “an important step towards greater dialogue and actions leading to true reconciliation.” Trudeau focused his attention on the importance of the victims and their families. “Survivors and their descendants must be at the center of everything we do together in the future,” he said.

During his tour of Canada, the Supreme Pontiff pointed out that there are still forms of thought anchored in the past


dad too attacked cancellation culture on Wednesday, calling it “fashion that … is intolerant of difference and focuses on the present” on the needs and rights of individuals, while frequently neglecting its duties towards the weakest and most vulnerable. The pontiff reiterated what he thinks about the war in Ukraine, warning of the dangers of “the arms race and deterrence strategies” and “terrible and prolonged cold wars.”

Along the highway from the airport to the Citadel of Quebec, hundreds of people with smartphones in hand crowded behind the barriers to see the pope in his white Fiat.

Pope Francis met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Some carried welcome signs and Vatican flags.

On Thursday, Francis will give Mass at the National Shrine of Saint Anne de Beaupre, one of the major pilgrimage sites in North America. He will later go to Quebec’s Notre Dame Cathedral to deliver a homily. On Friday, he will travel to the arctic archipelago of Nunavut, where he will visit the city of Iqaluit, the last stop on his six-day visit. Francisco has suffered from knee pain on this visit, in which he has been seen using a wheelchair on occasions.

Melissa Galbraith
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