Pope Francis end the journey in Canada on Friday (29/7), apologizing directly to the local community for “past sins” committed by teachers and administrators of Catholic boarding schools.
The six-day “Penitential or Penitential Pilgrimage” to Canada begins with the Pope from Alberta, then to Quebec, to the Far North and ends his trip to Nunavut to meet with Indigenous Canadians, Métis and Inuit.
This encounter with Canada’s first natives was to seek forgiveness for the past misdeeds of the Roman Catholic Church.
Many Canadians sympathize with the 85-year-old’s actions as he was desperate to travel despite needing the assistance of a wheelchair due to knee pain. His arrival was even greeted with traditional performances accompanied by songs.
In the city, Francis directly apologized to about 2,000 natives present.
“I want to say how sorry I am and ask forgiveness for the crimes committed by many Catholics who contributed to the policy of cultural assimilation and the granting of suffrage in these schools,” he said.
Francis’ words were greeted with cries from a few people, “Thank you!” and we love you!” while hugging and holding hands while watching the Pope’s speech.
Francis apologized for the many Canadians who were sexually and physically abused at boarding schools run by the Catholic Church.
In fact, not a few or thousands of the inhabitants would have died of disease or malnutrition because they had been neglected while studying in Catholic dormitories.
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