Indigenous peoples of Canada speak to the Pope in December – kath.ch

Pope Francis wants to receive indigenous representatives from Canada for personal talks at the Vatican in mid-December. Canadian bishops cover travel expenses.

The Canadian Bishops Conference announced that the 25 to 30 delegates would include First Nations, Métis and Inuit elders, as well as people who had been abused in Canadian boarding schools. A small group of Canadian bishops will also participate in the Vatican meetings from December 17-20.

“Important teacher”

“The road to recovery and reconciliation is long, but we believe this will be an important milestone in the Catholic Church’s efforts to renew and strengthen relationships with indigenous peoples across the country,” said the President of the Episcopal Conference. Archbishop Raymond Poisson (Wednesday local time).

Canadian bishops cover the travel costs of indigenous representatives and also provide psychosocial counsellors. “We hope to start a new path with this delegation, to listen humbly and to see the next steps the church can take to support boarding school survivors, their families and communities,” said Poisson.

Report the expectations of the Pope’s visit

Indigenous delegates will also have the opportunity to inform Francis of their expectations from a papal visit to Canada, according to the announcement from the bishops’ conference. At the end of October, the bishops announced that Pope Francis had indicated his basic “willingness” to travel to Canada “in due course”. More details will soon be announced about the December meeting in Rome, which, according to the Bishops’ Conference, is due to be announced soon in a “permanent dialogue” with the Assembly of First Nations, the National Council of the Métis and the Inuit. .

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Introducing Christian Civilization

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it is estimated that more than 100,000 children of Aboriginal mothers were placed – often forcibly – in Canadian homes. Many of the more than 130 institutions nationwide were run by Catholic religious orders. They should introduce the children to “Christian civilization” on behalf of the state. Often they were not allowed to speak their mother tongue. An unknown number of children and adolescents were physically or sexually abused; Many infectious diseases died.

More than 1000 graves

In the past few months, more than 1,000 children’s graves have been discovered by ground-penetrating radar on the property of a former boarding school in Canada. Indigenous tribal leaders then called on Pope Francis to apologize on behalf of the Catholic Church on Canadian soil for the suffering caused by the Church’s participation in the ascension system for Aboriginal children. (kna)


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