Pope Francis heads to Nunavut for final stop on Canada visit

by | Jul 29, 2022 | World

Pope’s six-day visit to Canada will wrap up with meeting with residential school survivors and public event in Iqaluit.Warning: The story below contains details of residential schools that may be upsetting. Canada’s Indian Residential School Survivors and Family Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day at 1-866-925-4419.
Pope Francis is heading to Canada’s northern territory of Nunavut to meet with survivors of residential schools, as the head of the Roman Catholic Church wraps up a six-day visit to Canada that has drawn mixed reactions.
The pope will travel to Iqaluit on Friday afternoon to privately meet survivors and attend a public event before flying back to Rome.
The trip’s final stop comes after Pope Francis at the start of the week apologised for the “evil” of residential schools, the forced-assimilation institutions rife with abuse that Indigenous children were obligated to attend for decades between the late 1800s and 1990s.
“I humbly beg forgiveness for the evil committed by so many Christians against the Indigenous peoples,” he said during an event on Monday in Maskwacis, near Edmonton in the western province of Alberta, describing the effects of the institutions as “catastrophic”.
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The Catholic Church ran a majority of the 139 federally mandated residential schools across Canada, which a commission of inquiry in 2015 determined amounted to “cultural genocide”.
For decades, Indigenous leaders had called on the church to apologise for its role in the residential school system, and the papal apology offered this week has been welcomed by some survivors as an important step in the path to healing.
Others have called on Pope Francis to go further and acknowledge the Catholic Church’s institutional role in the harms c …

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