Seeing the suffering of Indigenous children in Catholic boarding schools, Bishop William McGrawton of the Canadian Diocese of Calgary has announced financial aid for bereaved relatives. Survivors and their families should be given “a financial sum to support them in the difficult healing process of the wounds inflicted on them in boarding schools”.
Therefore the amount of these payments and the diocese’s detailed processing and assistance plan should be reported in September. This was announced by Bishop McGraton after consultation with other Canadian bishops and staff of the diocese, as reported in mid-July by the Italian press service SIR.
There were 25 boarding schools in the Canadian province of Alberta that housed indigenous people; Four of them were administered by Catholic orders in the Diocese of Calgary. Therefore the diocese itself was not directly responsible for the schools.
The financial compensation should be “an indication of the diocese’s commitment to the justice and treatment of indigenous peoples and communities” in the country, it said.
Canadian bishops have begun raising funds for compensation payments to indigenous peoples. The Permanent Council of the Canadian Bishops’ Conference, the CCCB, recently stated that several bishops had submitted proposals for fundraising.
Over the past few weeks, Canadian bishops have spoken several times to express their solidarity and the Church’s readiness to work with the so-called “First Nations” in the pursuit of truth and justice. Canada’s political and religious authorities were also invited by Pope Francis in Angelus on 6 June to “humbly follow the path of reconciliation and healing” after the boarding school case in Kamloops, British Columbia, became known. Pope Francis also wants to meet the indigenous people of Canada at the Vatican this December.
(Sir – SST)
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