Pope calls for reconciliation, healing over Canada school discovery

  • 7 months   ago
Pope calls for reconciliation, healing over Canada school discovery

REUTERS

Pope Francis said on Sunday that he was pained by the discovery of the remains of 215 children at a former Catholic school for indigenous students in Canada and called for respect of the rights and cultures of native peoples.

However, Francis stopped short of the direct apology some Canadians had demanded. Two days ago, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Catholic Church must take responsibility for its role in running many of the schools.

Speaking to pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter's Square for his weekly blessing, Francis urged Canadian political and Catholic religious leaders to "cooperate with determination" to shed light on the finding and to seek reconciliation and healing.

Francis said he felt close to "the Canadian people, who have been traumatized by the shocking news".

 

The residential schools operated between 1831 and 1996 and were run by a number of Christian denominations on behalf of the government. Most were run by the Catholic Church.

The discovery last month of the remains of the children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia, which closed in 1978, has reopened old wounds and is fuelling outrage in Canada about the lack of information and accountability.

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