Canadian House passes motion calling on Pope Francis to issue apology
In a rare show of unanimity, the House of Commons overwhelmingly supported a motion to call on Pope Francis to apologise on Canadian soil for abuses that occurred at Church-run residential schools.
What happens next, however, remains unclear. The motion is not binding.
The motion received all-party support in a 1st May vote, 269-10.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau already invited Pope Francis to Canada to issue a papal apology as called for in the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission report. Pope Francis has also received invitations from individual bishops.
But in a 27th March letter released by the Canadian bishops’ conference to the indigenous peoples of Canada, Bishop Lionel Gendron, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, said a papal visit was not imminent and the pope “felt he could not personally respond” to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission request to apologise in Canada.
An earlier version of the motion had put the onus on Canada’s bishops to bring the pope to Canada. But after one member objected to the government interference in Church affairs, a new motion was drafted to bypass the bishops and take the matter directly to the Vatican.
Picture: A general view of the Canadian Parliament buildings in Ottawa, Ontario, is shown in this 2014 photo. (CNS photo/Warren Toda, EPA).Tags: abuse, apology, Bishop Gendron, Bishop Lionel Gendron, Canada, Canadian House, motion, Pope, Pope Francis, Vatican