Archbishop apologises for Church’s role in residential schools

A child

A Canadian archbishop has apologised for the Church’s role in administering the country’s residential school system and requested a formal apology by Pope Francis. Source: CNA.

“As we celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day, I extend my sincere apology for the involvement of the Catholic Church in the residential school system, and I pray for healing as the Church in Canada walks the path of reconciliation with the Indigenous people in our community,” said Archbishop Marcel Damphousse of Ottawa-Cornwall, in a video posted on YouTube on June 17.

National Indigenous Peoples Day was celebrated in Canada on Monday.

“As a member of the Catholic Church, and as a bishop, I am so sorry. I know I am not alone in my sorrow and contrition,” said Archbishop Damphousse. “I add my voice to those who are asking the Holy Father for an apology to Indigenous peoples of Canada.”

Archbishop Damphousse said that he was at “a loss for words” to describe how he felt following the recent discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia. The remains of the children were discovered the weekend of May 22, with the use of ground-penetrating radar. It is unknown how the children died, or who they were. 

In addition to Archbishop Damphousse, the Archbishop Michael Miller of Vancouver recently suggested that Pope Francis should formally apologise for the Church’s role in the residential school system.

“If someone asked me, do I think the Pope should apologise, I would say yes,” Archbishop Miller said.

FULL STORY

Ottawa archbishop apologizes for Church’s role in Canada’s residential schools (By Christine Rousselle, CNA)

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