On Friday, Pope Francis issued an apology for the actions executed by some staff members of the Catholic Church residential schools of Canada against the indigenous children after a visit with delegations from the leaders of the indigenous Canadians.
The Pope expressed his “sorrow and shame” for how the indigenous people were treaded in Canada, saying: “For the deplorable conduct of those members of the Catholic Church, I ask for God’s forgiveness and I want to say to you with all my heart: I am very sorry. And I join my brothers, the Canadian bishops, in asking your pardon.”
The apology of the Head of the Catholic Church was demanded by delegations from the survivors of the residential schools in Canada who travelled to the Vatican to call for the Church’s apology.
Cassidy Caron, president of the Métis National Council, said on Monday after meeting the Pope: “While the time for acknowledgement, apology and atonement is long overdue, it is never too late to do the right thing.”
It is worthy to mention that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Prope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church, to come to Canada and apologize for the church’s role in the residential schools that were dedicated to Indigenous people, last year.
The prime minister’s speech came after unearthing two unmarked graves that contain hundreds of bodies under former residential schools.
He described in Ottawa that he told the pope after Cowessess First Nation announced finding 751 bodies at the former Marieval Residential School in Saskatchewan.
The Canadian official added: “I have spoken personally directly with His Holiness Pope Francis to press upon him how important it is not just that he makes an apology but that he makes an apology to Indigenous Canadians on Canadian soil.”
Trudeau added: “I know that the Catholic Church leadership is looking and very actively engaged in what next steps can be taken.”
The system of residential schools was started in 1831 and was ended in 1996. More than 150,000 Indigenous children were taken from their families and brought to those Catholic schools that were run by the federal government.
Those schools were one of the main contributors to the cultural genocide that targeted Indigenous Canadians.