After his praying the Sunday Angelus yesterday, Pope Francis said: “Next Sunday, God willing, I will leave for Canada.”
“I wish now to address all the people of that country. Dear brothers and sisters of Canada, as you know, I will come among you especially in the name of Jesus to meet and embrace the indigenous peoples.”
He called the trip a “penitential pilgrimage” which he hopes by “God’s grace, will contribute to the journey of healing and reconciliation already undertaken.”
“Unfortunately, in Canada, many Christians, including some members of religious institutes, have contributed to the policies of cultural assimilation that, in the past, have severely harmed indigenous communities in various ways. For this reason, recently, at the Vatican, I received several groups, representatives of Indigenous peoples, to whom I manifested by sorrow and my solidarity for the evil they have suffered,””
Ending his address, he thanked the pilgrims gathered in Saint Peter’s Square and asked them “to please accompany me with your prayers.”
During his trip, Pope Francis is expected 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” – a request made by the Indigenous Watchdog organization.
When he met with Indigenous leaders from Canada in the Vatican in April, he expressed “his sorrow and solidarity for the harm they have suffered.”
🙏 Pray for Pope Francis’ safe travel!