Pope Francis asks for “forgiveness for wrongs done”.

Pope Francis asked on Monday, July 25, when he visited a former boarding school for Aboriginal children in Canada. “Sorry for the mistake” Against the latter, especially in boarding schools for Church-run Native American children. He was also upset with some of his members “collaborated” to principles “Cultural Destruction”.

“I am depressed. I apologize”, the Pope said in front of thousands of indigenous people at Maskwacis in western Canada. A stimulus “Catastrophic Error”He recognized the responsibility of certain members of the Church in this organization “The children suffered physical and verbal, psychological and spiritual abuse”. The Pope’s words, translated into English after the apology, were met with loud applause.

In sum, the 85-year-old pontiff asked “sorry” three times, “With shame and clarity”, during this much-anticipated first speech, delivered in Spanish on the site of the former Erminsk boarding school. The pope arrived in Edmonton, Alberta on Sunday for a six-day visit to these Amerindian peoples, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit, who have been waiting for years.

read more: The article is reserved for our subscribers Pope Francis “Pilgrimage of Penance” in Canada

“Only the First Step” on the Road to “Healing”

“Where we are now brings up a cry of pain in me, a strangled cry that has accompanied me for the past few months.”He emphasized that “Shock” Many generations of tribal people were affected and “The wounds are still open”. At the heart of it “Penitential Pilgrimage”A harrowing episode of “Residential Schools” For Aboriginal children, the system of cultural assimilation caused at least 6,000 deaths by the end of the 19th centurye century and in the 1990s, created a shock for several generations.

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“The assimilation policies ended up systematically marginalizing the tribal people (…). Your languages ​​and cultures are denigrated and oppressedFrancis repeated. Remembering the devastating experiences of residential schools touches us, angers us, hurts us, but it is necessary. »

Read more The article is reserved for our subscribers Canada is confronting its colonial history after the bones of 215 Aboriginal children are found.

Emphasizes the need “to remember”Even the Argentine Jesuit confirmed it “Excuse me [n’étaient] No full stop” Most “Only the First Step” On the way “healing”. Canadian government, Who paid billions of dollars In response to former students, it officially apologized for creating these schools fourteen years ago “Kill the Indian in the Child’s Heart”. The Anglican Church did the same. But the Catholic Church, which is responsible for more than 60% of these boarding schools, has so far refused to do so.

“Ideological Colonialism”

That all changed in April with an apology from the Vatican, Pope Francis. “Ideological Colonialism” And this“Act d’Assimilation”, Don’t “Many children are affected”. He had They also promised to come to Canada, and thousands of tribesmen awaited forgiveness on their land. Many are also looking for symbolic gestures, such as the return of some of the original artefacts that have been kept in the Vatican for decades.

Read more The article is reserved for our subscribers In Canada, the brutality of residential schools for Aboriginal children

About 150,000 indigenous children were forcibly enrolled in these schools, where they were cut off from their families, their language and their culture, and often suffered physical, psychological and sexual violence. Canada is slowly opening its eyes to this past called today “Cultural Genocide” : In 2021, more than 1,300 anonymous graves were discovered The settlement created a shock wave near the schools.

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The world with AFP

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