It seems like the Catholic Church has a lot to apologize for. They have had members who have committed horrible acts of abuse, much of the time to children. Now, Pope Francis is apologizing again, this time for the horrible abuse done to indigenous children in Canada.
The Pope is currently on a weeklong “penitential pilgrimage,” and his first stop was in Alberta, Canada. He was there to beg for forgiveness for the Catholic Church’s abuse of Indigenous children in residential schools across Canada.
The church-run schools were created by the government to force indigenous Canadians to assimilate into Christian society. They separate children from their families, and then they abused them, in the name of God.
The Pope said, “I am deeply sorry. I humbly beg forgiveness for the evil committed by so many Christians against the Indigenous peoples.”
He continued, “[a]lthough Christian charity was not absent, and there were many outstanding instances of devotion and care for children, the overall effects of the policies linked to the residential schools were catastrophic. What our Christian faith tells us is that this was a disastrous error, incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
The apology seemed to be accepted, as evidenced by the gift of a traditional headdress that an indigenous leader bestowed on the Pope, amid applause.
From the late 1800s to 1997 more than 150,000 indigenous children were taken from their families to attend residential boarding schools. with the goad to forcibly assimilate them and make them Christian. They would violently punish them for speaking their native language and cut their long hair. There was sexual abuse, too. A common saying was “kill the Indian, save the man.”
The schools were not only in Canada. There were once more than 400 of these schools in the United States.
Amazingly, the indigenous people were so forgiving. I guess they understand that Pope Francis was in no way directly involved with what happened to those children. Liberals could use a dose of that type of understanding when they talk about reparations. But was it right for the Pope to remind them that the Catholic Church did some good things as well? It’s kind of like saying, ‘but look at all the good things we did…in addition to all the abuse.’