Ottawa, Canada, Sep 24, 2021 / 16:05 pm
The Catholic bishops of Canada issued a formal apology to the Indigenous population of the country for the abuses of the residential school system, and said they would request that Pope Francis make a pastoral visit to the nation.
“We, the Catholic Bishops of Canada, gathered in Plenary this week, take this opportunity to affirm to you, the Indigenous Peoples of this land, that we acknowledge the suffering experienced in Canada's Indian Residential Schools,” said the statement, which was issued Sept. 24 following the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ annual plenary assembly.
“We commit ourselves to continue accompanying you, the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples of this land,” said the apology. “Standing in respect of your resiliency, strength and wisdom, we look forward to listening to and learning from you as we walk in solidarity.”
The bishops noted that “many Catholic religious communities and dioceses” were involved in the residential school system, “which led to the suppression of Indigenous languages, culture and spirituality, failing to respect the rich history, traditions and wisdom of Indigenous Peoples.”