Pope, Trudeau talk about reconciliation with Canada’s indigenous people
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he asked Pope Francis to help Canadians “move forward on a real reconciliation” with the country’s indigenous people “by issuing an apology” on behalf of the Catholic Church for its role in harming their communities.
The prime minister spoke to a handful of reporters in Rome’s Villa Borghese Park on 29th May 29 after having had a 36-minute private meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican.
“He reminded me that his entire life has been dedicated to supporting marginalised people in the world, fighting for them,” the prime minister said, adding the pope said that “he looked forward to working with me and with the Canadian bishops to figure out a path forward together.”
The 2015 report of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which focused on past treatment of the indigenous communities and concrete steps for a future of greater inclusion, included a recommendation that the pope come to Canada to apologise on behalf of the Catholic Church for its participation in the residential schools for indigenous children.
While the idea behind the schools was to promote the greater integration of indigenous communities into modern Canadian life, the schools – many run by Catholic religious orders – led to a situation in which many children were torn from their families, lost their native language and cultures and often suffered abuse.
Trudeau told reporters he invited the pope to go to Canada “in the coming years,” but added no further details about such a trip.
Picture: Pope Francis meets Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a private audience at the Vatican on 29th May. (CNS photo/Ettore Ferrari, Reuters pool).Tags: apology, Canada, catholic, Church, indigenous, indigenous people, Justin Trudeau, Pope Francis, Prime Minister