in Quebec, Pope Francis denounces “ideological colonization”

Continuing his trip to Canada, Pope Francis traveled to Quebec on Wednesday, where he met with Canadian leaders, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. While apologizing to indigenous communities, the pontiff deplored “ideological colonizations”.

The penitential journey of Pope Francis in Canada continued in Quebec on Wednesday July 27. He denounced “ideological colonizations”, again asking for “pardon” before the authorities who invited him to take concrete action for communion -back to the natives.

“Even today, ideological colonizations that are against the reality of existence prevent the natural connection of people’s values, trying to uproot their traditions, history and religious ties,” the pope said during the a speech before the civil authorities, the native representatives. and the diplomatic corps at the Citadelle in Quebec. He denounced the “radical injustice” of the unequal distribution of wealth.

He met with Canadian leaders, a political break from his trip largely devoted to apologizing for past abuses of Indigenous children in Church-run schools.

He spoke privately with Justin Trudeau and the Governor General of Canada, Mary Simon, who described to him the tragedies that occurred in residential schools.

A few minutes before that, the Argentinian Jesuit was welcomed with military honors at the British fortress, located on the banks of St. Lawrence River.

On the road from the airport to the Citadel, hundreds of people, smartphones in hand, gathered behind barriers to see the pope in his white Fiat. Others displayed welcome posters or flags of Argentina or the Vatican.

Admitted actions

In Alberta (west), the first stage of the pope’s journey was largely dedicated to the apology that the pope presented on Monday to indigenous peoples (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) for the enrollment of 150,000 children, between the end of 19th century and in the 1990s, in 130 boarding schools mostly run by the Catholic Church.

Many suffered physical or sexual abuse, and thousands never recovered, victims of disease, malnutrition or neglect.

In front of the authorities on Wednesday, Pope Francis once again criticized the “policies of assimilation and uprooting” that have “destroyed many indigenous families”, renewing his “plea for forgiveness” with the “shame and pain” for the actions of “many Christians”. If not, however, the institution itself is questioned.

>> Also read: “Indigenous children’s body discovery: as Canada ‘awakens from a long amnesia'”

“It is our responsibility to see our differences not as an obstacle, but as an opportunity to learn, to better understand each other and to work together,” said the Prime Minister of Canada.

Mary Simon then insisted on the follow-up to be given to the papal apology, saying that she “looks forward to knowing the actions that the Church will take to continue this important work”. The pope himself called the apology “the first step” in a “healing” process.

Second pope to visit Canada

On Thursday morning, the pope will lead a mass at the Sainte-Anne de Beaupré national shrine, the oldest place of pilgrimage in North America that welcomes a million visitors every year. Thousands of faithful are expected there, in this French-speaking province with the largest number of Catholics in Canada, although attendance was lower than organizers had announced since the start of the visit.

In the afternoon, the pope will deliver a homily at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Quebec, in the presence of religious representatives.

Friday, for the last part of his six-day trip, the pope will stop for a few hours in Iqaluit (Nunavut), in the Arctic archipelago.

In the context of the Church inquiry, Francis is the second pope to visit Canada, after John Paul II who went there three times (1984, 1987, 2002).

With AFP and Reuters

Canada: Pope Francis apologizes to indigenous peoples

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