Pope Francis’ visit to Canada ends today. Here’s what he does
QUEBEC CITY — Pope Francis is set to wrap up the six-day tour of Canada he has called a penitential pilgrimage with meetings in Quebec City and Iqaluit today.
The pontiff is due to begin Friday with private meetings at the residence of the Archbishop of Quebec and is then expected to meet with a delegation of indigenous peoples.
Later in the day, Francis will travel to Iqaluit, where he will participate in private meetings with residential school survivors.
There will also be an outdoor meeting with young and old before his return to the Vatican.
During the tour, which included stops in Alberta, the pontiff apologized for the role played by Roman Catholic institutions in the residential school system.
Some said his apology didn’t go far enough because he didn’t make it clear that the Catholic Church, and not just a few bad people, was responsible for the abuses at the residential schools.
Critics also said it should have undone the Doctrine of Discovery – dating from the 15th century – which justified the colonization of North America.
On Thursday, Pope Francis recognized for the first time « the sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable people ».
The pope said during an evening prayer session with Catholic cardinals, bishops and other clergy that the Church must not allow itself to take advantage of others, including those of different religions, cultures or of different languages.
“Thinking about the process of healing and reconciliation with our indigenous brothers and sisters, never again can the Christian community allow itself to be contaminated by the idea that one culture is superior to another, or that it is legitimate to employ ways to coerce others,” François said at Notre-Dame Cathedral-Basilica in Quebec.
The remarks came after a turbulent day at the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré basilica, a place of pilgrimage near Quebec City, where demonstrators had unfurled a banner in front of the altar at the start of the mass which read: « Repeal the doctrine ,” a reference to the Doctrine of Discovery.
« Reconciliation is about action, and it’s a kind of action that we can do today, whereas the Pope’s was more of a statement and we would like to see more action, » Chelsea Brunelle said. , who unfurled the banner with his cousin, Sarain. Fox.
“We were told to stop. We were told we couldn’t put up the sign, but we have the right to protest and we did it anyway.
With files from Allan Woods and Alex Boyd
The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of a residential school experience. Support is available at 1-866-925-4419.
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