Pope has ended his tour of Canada near the North Pole and acknowledged his ‘material limitations’

IQALUIT, Canada. Residential school survivors, Inuit politicians, singers and musicians were among the crowd that met on Friday with Pope FrancisIn the End your trip to Canada with a short visit to the capital of Nunavutone of the most remote and sparsely populated regions in the world, 300 km south of the Arctic Circle.

It was the pope’s first visit to Canada’s newest province, and for some, it was a potential turning point in a century-old strained relationship between the Catholic Church and the Canadian Inuit.

In his last speech in Canada, Francisco was “sorry” for the role of Christians in the boarding schools that operated in that country to Westernize indigenous children for nearly all of the 20th centuryAnd again, he asked for forgiveness for the people.

Pope confessed “Anger and Shame” This is raised by the role Church members played in operating the 139 boarding schools set up by the Canadian government.

Pope Francis on arrival at Iqaluit International AirportVincenzo Pinto – AFP

He added: “Even today, here too, I would like to tell you that I am very sorry and I want to apologize for the evil committed by quite a few Catholics who in those schools contributed to the policies of cultural assimilation and disengagement.”

Those words were what the crowd that had gathered in this distant city was waiting for. “I am very happy that Francisco can come here and I am so happy to be able to see this”Said Olibica Fifi, one of the many waiting for his speech. “He came all the way from Rome to apologize,” he added.

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“He apologized, a lot of people don’t seem happy about it, but he took the step to come to Nunavut and apologize, and I think that’s great,” said Ivy Konuk, 47, a resident of Iqaluit. “This visit is important to Iqaluit because many people from here have gone to boarding schools,” he added.

“This trip creates a stir,” Steve Philip, a 52-year-old Quebec resident who traveled to Iqaluit to see the pope was also among hundreds of people waiting for his appearance.

In his speech, Francis lamented the current situation with “a world that seems to be sinking more and more amid scandals, wars, deceit, injustice, destruction of the environment, indifference to the weakest, and disappointments on the part of those who will have to example.”

Prior to that meeting, Francis met the boarding school survivors at Nakasuk School, in the center of the city of 7,740, one of the smallest places the Pope visited. Earlier, in Quebec, he received at the home of the city’s archbishop the victims of boarding schools in eastern Canada, He repeated his apology to him for the violations he was subjected to.

Francisco arrives in a wheelchair to meet the indigenous people of Iqaluit
Francisco arrives in a wheelchair to meet the indigenous people of IqaluitJohannes Neudecker – DB

From the late 19th century to the 1970s, more than 150,000 Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their homes and sent to boarding schools run by the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations in order to separate them from their cultures and assimilate them into the mainstream. .

The Pope hopes his Canada tour will perpetuate the Church’s reconciliation with indigenous peoples, and has promised to follow the path of reparations. The responses to his apologies over six days were mixed: Some victims welcomed them, while others said more must be done to right past wrongs and bring justice.

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Francis spoke to delegates in Quebec City in a spirit of penance, to express the pain they endure for “the evil caused by a few Catholics, and by their support for oppressive and unjust policies”.

“I came as a pilgrim, With my limited physical capabilities, to take new steps with you and for you; so that the search for truth may continue, that progress may be made in furthering the paths of healing and reconciliation, that hope may continue to be planted in future generations of indigenous and non-indigenous people, who wish to live together fraternally, in harmony” said Francis, On this trip he was forced to use a wheelchair due to pain in his knees.

AFP, Télam and DPA . agencies

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