Pope Francis to travel to Canada

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By Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

CANADA – Repeated calls to the holy father of the Catholic Church to formally apologize to Indigenous People have prompted a commitment from the Pope to make the journey to Canada. However, he has not pledged to apologize or release the much sought-after records from the institutions that caused so much pain and suffering.
The call to action is one of the 94 Calls to Action issued by the Truth & Reconciliation Commission in 2015. It is included in the four calls upon the churches responsible for running the residential schools before the government took over in 1969.
As stated in the report: “We call upon the Pope to issue an apology to Survivors, their families, and communities for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children in Catholic-run residential schools. We call for that apology to be similar to the 2010 apology issued to Irish victims of abuse and to occur within one year of the issuing of this Report and to be delivered by the Pope in Canada.”
The Assembly of First Nations National Chief RoseAnne Archibald issued a formal statement, responding to the announcement, saying, “I’ll welcome Pope Francis when he arrives on Turtle Island to issue a long overdue apology to survivors and intergenerational trauma survivors. I am calling on the church to make a number of reparations while they are here and in the future.
“The Catholic Church must be accountable and acknowledge their responsibility for the great harm caused by their direct role in the institutions of assimilation and genocide that they ran.”
Archibald called for immediate action on returning “diocese land properties back to the First Nations on whose land they are situated, and investments into long-term healing initiatives, “beyond their recent commitment of $30 million announced on Sept. 27, 2021, to ensure support programs and services for survivors and their descendants.”
The National Chief also said, “Over 100 years of church efforts have resulted in the destruction of the social fabric of First Nations. Now, equal time, energy and resources must be...continued

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