Pope: Canada visit will be ‘punitive visit’

Papst Franziskus

For Pope Francis, his visit to Canada is “a repentance journey”. He is traveling to Canada next Sunday to specifically embrace indigenous peoples, Francis said at the afternoon prayer in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday. Many of them also suffered greatly in Catholic institutions. “I express my sorrow for all that they have suffered,” Francis said. He hopes that in this journey he can promote reconciliation.

Francis is on a visit to Canada from July 24-30. Stations are planned in Edmonton, Quebec and Iqaluit on the Arctic Ocean. The Pope is also visiting the Maskawakis community and wants to take part in a pilgrimage to the traditional Feast of St. Anne in Lac Sainte Anne.

negotiations with first nations

The focus of the visit is a discussion between the head of the church and the indigenous representatives of the First Nations, the Métis and the Inuit. Alumni of the so-called residential schools play a major role in this. In these, indigenous children were plundered, abused and abused from their culture in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Indigenous people are demanding an apology from the pope on Canadian soil for the involvement of the church, which runs a large number of these boarding schools. When several indigenous delegations went to Rome at the end of March, Francis had already apologised.

Also planned are visits courtesy of Governor General Mary May Simon and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; As well as meetings with local clergy and members of the Jesuit order. Nevertheless, for health reasons, the daily schedule is much clearer than in previous papal visits – after the appointment in the morning, it usually continues into the afternoon. (kna)

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