An Aboriginal leader, who will meet Pope Francis in December, on Sunday, July 4th, urged the Pope to travel to Canada and apologize for the Catholic Church’s role in running Aboriginal boarding schools.
David Chartrand, vice president and spokesperson for the National Mestizo Council, said in an interview with 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 terrible 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 himself has repeatedly asked the Pope to travel to Canada to “offer a direct apology to the indigenous peoples”.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops announced in late June that a delegation of First Nations, mixed race, and Inuit will meet with the Pope on December 17-20 to discuss the church’s role in the boarding school system.
“We want … to be able to feel the pain that dwells in us,” said Chartrand, a Catholic, arguing that the pope’s decision could also be significant for the Catholic Church as its influence wanes in Canada, in particular. . in the west of the country.
Despite claiming to understand the anger and pain caused by the discovery of children’s graves, Chartrand deplored acts of vandalism against Catholic temples.