The Canadian government said yesterday that Pope Francis’ apology for the abuse of Indigenous children in the country’s church-run schools was not enough
It argued that the Catholic Church should acknowledge its central role in the scandal.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has, therefore, demanded “apologies for the role that the Roman Catholic Church, as an institution, played in the mistreatment on the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical and sexual abuse that Indigenous children suffered in residential schools run by the church,” while speaking before Pope Francis, according to the Associated Press.
At issue is the decades-long abuse Canadian Indigenous children faced in the country’s residential schools that were run by the government and the church in an effort to make students assimilate into Canadian culture.
The children were forcibly removed from their homes and separated from the influence of their parents and native culture at the schools, where the Canadian government said sexual abuse was common and students were beaten for speaking their native languages.
Francis was in Canada as part of a “penitential pilgrimage” to atone for the church’s role in the scandal, though the pope has been reluctant to name the Catholic Church as the institution responsible for the abuse.
The pope on Monday apologised for the “evil” of the church personnel who took part in the abuse and the “catastrophic” effect the system had on the Indigenous children.
In a Wednesday speech before the Canadian government, Francis apologised again and called the school system “deplorable.”