Trudeau invites pope to Canada for Church apology to indigenous peoples

30 May, 2017, 06:40 | Author: Joy Garcia
  • Trudeau invites pope to Canada for Church apology to indigenous peoples

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.

Following the meeting, Trudeau said that he had encouraged the Pope to issue an apology for the role of the Catholic Church in administering the "residential schools" that had established in Canada in the 19th century to educate the children of native tribes.

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.

According to a brief May 29 communique from the Vatican, Pope Francis and Prime Minister Trudeau conversed on the topics of integration and reconciliation with indigenous people, as well as religious liberty and current ethical issues.

The commission included the demand for a papal apology - to survivors, their families and communities - as one of the 94 recommendations in its report on the dark history and legacy of residential schools.

He added that he stressed to the pope "how he could help by issuing an apology".

Trudeau said that in their private talks, the pope "reminded me that his entire life has been dedicated to supporting marginalized people in the world, fighting for them, and that he looks forward to working with me and with the Canadian bishops to figure out a path forward together".

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While in Italy, he also visited the Roma Soccer Club Stadium and will meet Italy's prime minister and president.

On Monday, Trudeau said he invited the Pope to visit Canada in the coming years, and thanked him for the global leadership he has shown on climate change.

For over a century, the schools were government-funded but many were administered by Christian Churches, the majority by Roman Catholics.

Former prime minister Stephen Harper mentioned the commission's finding during a 10-minute audience with Pope Francis in 2015, but did not seek a formal apology. The body had recommended that the Pope apologise on Canadian soil for the Church's involvement in the treatment of Canadian Aboriginal children who were subjected to physical violence, derogatory language, neglect and meagre food within a church - and later government - run residential school system.

Trudeau said he and the pope also discussed climate change.

The Pope in return gifted Trudeau a gold medal marking the fourth year of his pontificate, an autographed copy of his message for World Peace Day and three papal letters on the family, the environment and evangelism. Mr. Trudeau gave the Pope a Montagnais-French dictionary and a set of books from Canada's National Jesuit Library.

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