Pope addresses ‘sorrows’ of residential schools, does not apologize in public prayer

Trudeau

However, he did not mention Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's calls for him to apologize for the Catholic Church's role in Canadian residential schools, nor did he offer an apology.

Indigenous leaders and school survivors on Sunday dismissed Pope Francis' expressions of pain at the discovery of 215 children's remains at a former Catholic residential school in Canada, saying the church needed to do much more. The former indigenous boarding school in Canada was run by the Catholic Church.

Visiting Bolivia in 2015, Francis apologised for the "many grave sins were committed against the native people of America in the name of God".

"I join with the Catholic church in Canada in expressing closeness to the Canadian people traumatised by the shocking news, " Francis said. Numerous children were forced to become Christians, were forbidden from speaking their native languages, and were often abused.

On Wednesday, Vancouver Archbishop J. Michael Miller said on Twitter "the Church was unquestionably wrong", and his archdiocese would be transparent with its archives and records regarding residential schools.

In Kamloops, Tk̓emlups te Secwepemc chief Rosanne Casimir, who has enlisted the help of the British Columbia coroner to help identify students' remains and causes of deaths, told reporters the tribe had never received any records from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate who ran the school. But, Trudeau said, "we're still seeing resistance from the church, possibly from the church in Canada".

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Although the pope hasn't offered an apology on behalf of the church, other Catholic clergy have.

Run by the government and church groups - the majority of them Catholic - the schools' stated aim was to assimilate indigenous children.

"May the political and religious authorities of Canada continue to work together with determination to shed light on that sad story and to humbly commit themselves to a path of reconciliation and healing", he said.

"These hard moments represent a strong reminder for all of us to distance ourselves from the model of colonizer ... and to walk side by side in dialogue and in mutual respect in the recognition of the rights and cultural values of all the sons and daughters of Canada", he said.

"As we ring our bells, perhaps as many as 215 times in honour of each child, we do so with our advocacy and prayers for truth, justice, healing and reconciliation", said the Church of the Epiphany on its Facebook page. In 2015 a national commission condemned the treatment as "cultural genocide".

Casimir noted, "in the end, what we do want we do want an apology, a public apology, not just for us, but for the world who also shared in those suffrages". "It was a governmental program that essentially took little children away from their families". "They probably wanted to advance their mission".

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