The comments came after the unmarked graves of 215 children were discovered at a boarding school run by the Catholic Church.
Canada’s Indigenous Services minister has said it is “shameful” that the pope never formally apologized for the mistreatment at the country’s Catholic-run Indigenous residential schools, which he called “labor camps”.
Recently after Mark Miller’s comments on Wednesday search Unmarked graves of 215 children in the town of Kamloops, one of 139 boarding schools established a century ago to forcibly assimilate Canada’s indigenous peoples.
“I do, I do,” the minister said at a news conference as he supported growing indigenous calls for a papal pardon that predates the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission report.
“I think it’s a shame that they haven’t done it, that it hasn’t been done to date,” he said. “It must be done. A responsibility that rests entirely on the shoulders of the Episcopal Council in Canada.”
Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Caroline Bennett also said a papal apology is needed to “unlock the healing” in Indigenous communities.
“They want to hear the Pope apologizing,” she said, urging Catholics across Canada to “ask their church to do better.”
Hours after Miller’s comments, Vancouver Archbishop J. Michael Miller offered an apology on social media.
He said, “In light of the heartbreaking revelations of the remains of 215 children at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, I am writing to express my deepest apologies and deepest condolences to the families and communities devastated by this horrific news. ” a statement.
“If words of apology for such unspeakable deeds are to bring life and healing, they must be accompanied by tangible actions that promote the full disclosure of the truth,” he said, providing church records about schools. promised.
“The Church was unquestionably wrong in implementing a government colonial policy that resulted in devastation for children, families and communities,” he said.
Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia, with unmarked graves searched last week From 1890 to 1969 it was operated by the Catholic Church on behalf of Ottawa using ground-penetrating radar.
In total, about 150,000 Indian, Inuit and Métis children were forcibly enrolled in these schools, where students were physically and sexually abused by headmasters and teachers who took away their culture and language.
Today those experiences are blamed for high incidences of poverty, alcoholism and domestic violence in indigenous communities, as well as high suicide rates.
In 2009 a delegation of Indigenous leaders met in private with Pope Benedict, who “expressed their grief” at the loss to the indigenous people at the school.
Although the statement of regret was welcomed by the group as “significant”, they said it fell short of an official apology.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission later noted that it was “disappointing to survivors and others that the Pope had not yet made a clear and vigorous public apology for the misconduct in Canada”.
Pope Francis later denial To apologize in 2018 – after Canada’s parliament again passed a resolution asking the pontiff to apologize – drew a polite rebuke from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, saying he was “disappointed” by the church’s decision.
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