Pope apologizes for church’s role in Residential School system

Indigenous delegates, led by Dene National Chief Gerald Antoine, have been at the Vatican all week to ask for an apology from the Pope. (Photo courtesy of Leanne Goose)

Pope Francis has officially apologized for the role the Catholic Church played in Canada’s Residential School system, and he’s prepared to meet Indigenous leaders in Canada this summer.

The Pope made the comments in his final address with First Nations, Inuit and Métis leaders today.

“Listening to your voices I was able to enter into, and be deeply grieved, by the stories of the suffering, hardship, discrimination and various forms of abuse that some of you have experienced, particularly in the residential schools. It’s chilling to think of determined efforts to instill a sense of inferiority, to rob people of their cultural identity, to sever their roots and to consider all the pertinent personal and social efforts that this continues to entail — unresolved traumas that have become intergenerational traumas.All this has made me feel two things very strongly — indignation and shame.”

He added, “For the deplorable conduct of these 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.”

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Mariah Caruso
Mariah Caruso is a digital journalist, originally from Toronto, Canada. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Hons. Bachelor of Arts and completed her Journalism post-grad at Sheridan College. She has an insatiable appetite for life, storytelling, connecting to the people, and getting to the heart of the issue. Mariah is excited to begin her journey and career in Yellowknife, NWT, and get involved with the community. If you have a story idea, feel free to send her an email at mariah.caruso@cklbradio.com