Trudeau seeks papal apology over Canada school abuse

Ellen Mills
May 30, 2017

The Prime Minister's spokesman, Cameron Ahmad, said Trudeau's main agenda for the conversation with Francis was reiterating the open invitation to the Pope to come to Canada and for "reconciliation" with the indigenous communities on this point.

Pope Francis on Monday met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who sought an apology over the abuse of indigenous Canadians at church-run boarding schools.

Justin Trudeau, a Catholic, arrived in the Vatican this morning and met the Pope inside the Vatican's apostolic palace where the pair had a 36-minute private discussion.

Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was set up inform the Canadian public about the schools, and to study the trauma suffered by those forced to attend them, called on the pope to make an apology in Canada.

Starting in the late 19th century, about 30 percent of children of Canada's native peoples, or about 150,000 children, were placed in what were known as "residential schools" in a government attempt to strip them of their traditional cultures and ancestral languages. Unlike US President Donald Trump, who met the pope last week, Trudeau and Francis agree that climate change is caused by human activity.

"He reminded me that his entire life has been dedicated to supporting marginalized people in the world", Trudeau said after he arrived back in Rome. The two men "focused on the themes of integration and reconciliation, as well as religious freedom and current ethical events", the statement said.

"T$3 he good bilateral relations between the Holy See and Canada were evoked, along with the contribution of the Catholic Church to the social life of the country". But he said Pope Francis doesn't plan to visit Canada this year. The National Chief said he would also like to hear the Pope apologize for the "illegal and racist" papal bulls of the 15th century that gave Christian explorers the right to claim any lands they discovered that were not inhabited by Christians. The Prime Minister's Office described the audience as having been 42 minutes long.

The bishops of Saskatchewan, Indigenous leaders and civic authorities have invited Pope Francis to visit the province in 2018 or '19 to offer an official apology.

A Canadian truth and reconciliation commission wanted an apology from the Roman Catholic Church in its extensive list of recommendations in a 2015 report.

In 2015, Mr Harper met Pope Francis and called attention to the commission's findings.

At the end of the meeting, the Pope gave Trudeau a medallion symbolizing forgiveness, joy and mutual acceptance.

The Pope gave Mr. Trudeau a medal highlighting the fourth anniversary of his pontificate, an autographed copy of his message on the World Day of Peace and three encyclicals on family, environment and evangelism.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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