Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller believes that Pope Francis did not mention the sexual abuse in his apology to the nation's Indigenous people and that he did not apologize on behalf of the Church as an institution (Archives).
Pope Francis omitted some important elements that cannot be ignored in his apology to residential school survivors, says federal Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller.
The Minister noted in an interview with The Canadian Press that the Pope's speech earlier this week near Edmonton, Alberta has special meaning for Indigenous people who must now make it their own in their healing process .
It's a very emotional moment, he said.
Mr. Miller thinks it's up to those affected to decide whether or not they accept the apology for the role the Catholic Church played in the residential school system. He did, however, note differences between the apologies made in Canada and those made by the Vatican to victims of sexual abuse in Ireland a few years ago.
Two main criticisms have surfaced since Monday's apology: the Pope never mentioned the sexual abuse in Canada's residential schools and he did not apologize on behalf of the Church as a #x27;institution, preferring instead to seek forgiveness for the evil committed by many Christians.
“There is a huge difference between the two, recalled The Minister. The choice he made speaks for itself. »
— Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
Minister Miller recalled that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which investigated residential schools, specifically requested that papal apologies are similar to those offered by the Vatican in 2010 to victims in Ireland.
According to the minister, these apologies – offered by Pope Benedict XVI in a letter – directly referenced the sexual abuse suffered by Irish children and the role played by the Catholic Church.
The organization Keewatinowi Okimakanak of Manitoba, which represents First Nations in the North, said in a statement that he was glad to have received an apology, but also lamented the lack of reference to sexual abuse.
Ask forgiveness and acknowledging the harm done is only the first of many steps that must be taken. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done.