The Aboriginal leader, who will meet Pope Francis in December, urged the Pope this Sunday (07.04.2021) to travel to Canada and apologize for the Catholic Church’s role in running Aboriginal boarding schools.
“He would be more powerful than the head of the Catholic Church, and from our point of view, I think he owes it to the Indigenous,” said David Chartrand, vice president and spokesperson for the Catholic Church. National Council of Mestizo In an interview with the public channel CBC.
For Chartrand, the papal apology is necessary to begin the process of healing and reconciliation, but it would be truly effective only if Francis offered it on Canadian soil and in the west of the country, where most boarding schools were.
The legacy of these boarding schools emerged after the recent discovery of more than a thousand unidentified tombs near three of these ancient schools in the provinces of British Columbia and Saskatchewan in western Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly asked the Pope to travel to Canada to “offer a direct apology to the indigenous peoples”.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops It was announced in late June that a delegation of First Nations, Mixed Race, Inuit He will meet with the Pope from December 17-20 to discuss the Church’s role in the boarding school system.
“We want (…) to feel the pain that lives in us,” said Chartrand — a Catholic — arguing that the pope’s decision could also be important to the Church because its influence is waning in Canada, particularly in Canada. . west of the country.
Despite claiming to understand the anger and pain caused by the discovery of children’s graves, Chartrand denounced acts of vandalism against Catholic temples. Dozens of churches have been destroyed and eight others burned since the discovery of the unknown niches.
About 150,000 Amerindian, mestizo, and Inuit girls and boys—separated from their families, language, and culture—were forcibly recruited between the early 19th century and the 1990s and held in 139 boarding schools across the country, to be “assimilated” into the mainstream culture.
ama (afp, cbc)