The Pope apologizes for the “cooperation and indifference” of the Church in colonization

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The Pope apologizes for the

The Pope Francis asked for forgiveness “for the evil that so many Christians did to the indigenous people” during colonization and for the “cooperation” and “indifference” of the Catholic Church >, during his visit to the town of Maskwacis, where one of the largest boarding schools that the Canadian State organized was located. the processes of “assimilation” of the children of indigenous peoples.

“To tell you, with all my heart, that I am deeply hurt: I apologize for the way in which which, unfortunately, many Christians adopted the colonial mentalityof the powers that oppressed the indigenous peoples,” said Francisco sitting among the representatives of the chiefs of the original peoples and before more than 2,000 people, including many victims of these internees.

< p>The Pontiff traveled to Canada following the invitation of the native peoplesso that he would come to apologize for the abuses perpetrated in the boarding schools managed, many of them, by the Catholic Church and where nearly 150,000 children were torn from their families, while it has been estimated that more than 4,000 died for abuse and illness. Most of them buried in mass graves without any identification.

“I come to your native lands to tell you personally that I am hurt, to implore God for forgiveness, healing and reconciliation. n, to show you my closeness, to pray with you and for you,” Francis said in Spanish, a request that the indigenous people greeted with applause.

what His presence serves to “work together, so that the sufferings of the past give way to a future of justice, healing and reconciliation”, before adding that this visit is not a point of arrival but starting point for this process.

The Pope apologizes for the

The pope, who prayed In the cemetery where many of the indigenous children who died at the Ermineskin school are buried, he explained. that “It is necessary to remember how the policies of assimilation and disassociation, which also included the system of residential schools, were disastrous for the people of these lands.”

“They ended up systematically marginalizing indigenous peoples,” he acknowledged, describing how “through the residential school system, their languages ​​and cultures were denigrated and suppressed; ihe children suffered physical and verbal, psychological and spiritual abuse; they were taken from their homes when they were little and this marked indelibly the relationship between parents and children, between grandparents and grandchildren.”

And then in this place, which in the Cree language means “hill of the bear”, the pope, as he did in the When the representatives of the indigenous peoples met at the end of March, the Vatican renewed its “request for forgiveness”.

“To tell you, with all my heart, that I am deeply hurt: I apologize for the way in which, unfortunately, many Christians adopted the colonialist mentality of the powers that oppressed indigenous peoples,” he said to applause. /p>

And he also asked forgiveness, “in particular, for the way in which many members of the Church and religious communities cooperated, including through indifference,in those projects of cultural destruction and forced assimilation of the governments of the time, which ended in the residential school system”

“I would like to repeat with shame and clarity: I ask I humbly forgive the evil that so many Christians committed against the indigenous peoples,” he insisted.

Echoing some of the petitions of the indigenous people to the Catholic Church, the pope assured that in this process of reconciliation it will be It is necessary “a serious search for the truth about the past and help survivors of residential schools to carry out healing processes of the traumas suffered“.

The Representatives of the First Nations, the Métis and the Unit have asked the Catholic Church to bring those responsible for the schools to justice, to open the archives so that they can investigate, as well as well as the return of some pieces of art that belonged to them and that are in the Vatican Museums.

The Pontiff also apologized. for not being able to visit other schools like the one in Kamloops, where the rest of more than a hundred children were found last year, as they had requested, but he assured that he knows “the suffering, traumas and challenges of indigenous peoples in all regions of this country.”

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