In Canada, the Supreme Court of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador (East of the country) this week authorized the sale of 42 properties owned by the Parish of St. John in Newfoundland; Among them are 12 temples.
The sums obtained will be used to pay compensation to hundreds of victims of physical and sexual abuse from the former Catholic orphanage in Mount Cashel.
The judges approved the transactions after Ernst & Young, the supervisor appointed in the case, reported on the bidding process, which began in early June.
In a letter to the faithful, Archbishop Peter Hundt noted that these are “difficult but necessary times” to comply with “legal obligations”.
In 2019, the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeals ruled that the diocese was responsible for crimes committed at the former Mount Cashel orphanage, between the 1940s and 1960s, by members of the Congregation for Christian Brothers, which declared bankruptcy in 1992.
The case was taken to the Supreme Court of Canada, which confirmed in 2021 that the diocese must compensate one hundred victims.
The total amount is about 50 million Canadian dollars (about 38 million US dollars).
Yesterday, Pope Francis began a historic visit to Canada, an opportunity for the Catholic Church to apologize, among other anomalies, for the torture and abuse that the country’s indigenous population was subjected to in Catholic boarding schools during the forced assimilation processes, where the XX centuries.
Victims of violations assure that in order for the tour of the Supreme Pope not to remain a mere act of propaganda, he must announce concrete measures and actions, such as, for example, that the Vatican publish documents on schools with which the Directorate deals. Doctrine of faith.
Last April, the Bishop of Rome, when receiving representatives of Indigenous Canadians at the Vatican, said that everything that happened generated “indignation and shame” and announced that he would visit the country on what he called a “journey of penance”.
As reported in many international morning papers, natives expect much more from this papal visit than a phrase asking for forgiveness.
In comments to Canadian media, Phil Fontaine, former national president of the Assembly of First Nations, stated that Francis “should offer his apologies for what happened in the boarding schools when he visits Canada” and opined that “tolerance is not the end of history” but “just the beginning”.
“We still have a lot of work to do to heal the past and bring about true reconciliation. We have to forgive ourselves. Otherwise, the story never ends,” Fontaine said.
For her part, Tiffany Dionne Pretti, of the University of Lethbridge, wrote in the media portal The Conversation that Francis on European soil “has not addressed how Catholic-run boarding schools have negatively affected generations of indigenous peoples through spiritual, emotional, physical and sexual abuse.”
“There are many of us hoping that the Pope’s visit will bring a new and more sincere apology,” added the Kainai member, who is from the Blackfoot Consortium, noting the need for the Catholic Church to rule on criminal investigations. Involving boarding school officials, searching for the bodies of children buried without a name and compensating indigenous people, among other issues.
The boarding school system for indigenous boys and girls – Inuit, Colored, and First Nations – was launched in 1883 to accommodate indigenous peoples in the uses and customs of the community.
Through its 139 boarding schools, 150,000 children were taken from their families, until 1996, when the Gordon Residential School in Punishi closed.
Minors could not speak their language and were forced to learn mediocre occupations in unsanitary conditions, causing numerous deaths from diseases such as tuberculosis.
Recently, there was the shocking discovery of the remains of nearly 200 students from Kamloops Indian Residential School, in the province of British Columbia. It is believed that more than 3,000 people are still buried unidentified in mass graves.