After four weeks of summer vacation, Pope Francis resumed his weekly general audience this Wednesday. Meeting with pilgrims at the Vatican Audience Hall, the pope recalled his 37th apostolic visit, which took him to Canada in the last week of July.
Sylvia Kritzenberger – Vatican City
To thunderous applause from the attendees, Pope Francis entered the audience hall, leaning on a stick for the first time in a long time. In the past few weeks, knee problems caused him to always use a wheelchair for public appointments – and a trip to Canada was no exception.
A journey like no other…
“It was a journey like no other. The main motivation was to meet the indigenous people there, express my closeness, my regret and ask for their forgiveness for the sufferings inflicted on them by Christians who in the past participated in the policies of forced assimilation and deprivation of the governments of the time. Had taken. — including many Catholics,” the Pope began his review of the trip to Canada, which he previously described as an “atonement pilgrimage”.
Focusing on the three major stages of this pilgrimage – Edmonton, Quebec and Iqaluit on the Arctic Ocean – Francis said: “Together we have cherished a memory: the fine memory of the thousand-year history of these peoples who lived in harmony with their land.” Lived in I also heard the painful memory of the misbehavior meted out to him.
be in harmony with creation
It is therefore a question of finding a healthy balance and “restoring harmony between modernity and ancestral cultures, between secularism and spiritual values”, said Francis, who affirmed the will of the Holy See, “on proper spiritual paths to indigenous cultures.” To encourage “and taking into account the customs and languages of these peoples.”
The last meeting on Canadian soil – encounters with young and old people of the Inuit tribe – remains a special memory for them: “I can assure you that during these meetings – especially this last meeting – I met these people.” felt the pain of a slap in the face… Old people who lost their children, who didn’t know what happened to their children because of this assimilation policy. It was a very painful moment, but we Let’s face it: we have to face our mistakes, our sins!” The leader of the church demanded.
He ended his speech before the first general audience after the summer break with the following wish:
“The brave and peaceful actions of the Indigenous peoples of Canada may be an example for all Indigenous peoples not to shut themselves down, but to make their indispensable contribution to a brotherly humanity that knows to love creation and creator ; in harmony between creation, in harmony among men. Thank you.”
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