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Douglas Todd: Pope's apology boosts continued efforts for reconciliation

Opinion: One of the common reactions to the Pope is that more must be done to radically improve people's lives. was.

Many residential-school survivors and others expressed respect to the pope for bringing his apology to North America. Another cohort of Canadians were decidedly unimpressed, though. What's the future of reconciliation now? (Pope Francis speaks to members of the Indigenous community at Muskwa Park in Maskwacis, Alberta, Canada, on July 25, 2022.)
Many boarding school survivors and others paid tribute to the apology to North America. But another cohort of Canadians was clearly unimpressed. What is the future of reconciliation now? (Pope Francis addresses members of the Indigenous community at Muskwasis Park, Muskwasis, Alberta, Canada, 25 July 2022.) Photo credit: PATRICK T. FALLON /AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis less than a year after being asked to apologize by indigenous peoples , made it clear how much he cares about him by flying to Canada to apologize to the indigenous people. Church imposed on them.

After the Pope asked for forgiveness for "the evils committed by Catholics who contributed to their cultural assimilation policy," the reaction of Indigenous peoples and other Canadians flooded the map. reached. Many expressed gratitude, but others criticized him for falling short.

Where do Canada and Catholics go from here with regard to the Indigenous, Inuit and Métis peoples?

Given that he is responsible for 1.4 billion Catholics, it is not surprising that his 85-year-old pope, physically ailing, flew to Canada for his five-day event. , which is surprising in a way.

The total population of Canada is less than his 1/40th of his church followers. Of the 35 million citizens of Canada he is Roman Catholic, of which he is a third, and of the 1.6 million aboriginals he is of approximately one third.

Yet, at his three different events in Canada, he managed 125 federally funded events attended by about 150,000 First Nations people. decided to shine a global spotlight on boarding schools that His 60% of the school was run by Catholic denominations, especially oblates.

This is not the first time the pope has apologized to indigenous peoples. The Jesuits of Argentinawere the first popes to come from outside Europe and also in South America, to "humble themselves" for the crimes and crimes committed by the Catholic Church against indigenous peoples. I begged forgiveness from ''the so-called conquest of the Americas.

In Canada, many boarding school survivors and other Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples saluted the Pope's apology to North America. Countless peoplehold more ``liberal'' and ``left-wing'' views than virtually any pope in millennia,and are widely considered humble. He seemed fascinated by the presence of a certain person.

Another cohort of Canadians, especially journalists, was clearly unimpressed.

Many First Nations expressed gratitude to the pope, while others criticized him for falling short.
Although many indigenous peoples expressed their gratitude to the Pope, , Others criticized him for lacking. Photo by Cole Burston /Getty His Images

The story of media allegations has reached a large audience. The Catholic Church in Canada is somewhat underperforming here, even though it is the country's largest religious body and is made up almost equally of people born here and those born abroad.

A 2015 Angus Reed Institute survey found that two in three Canadians worship Pope Francis, while the same survey firm found that 24 Canadians worshiped Pope Francis this year. % found that Roman Catholicism isdamaging 21% believing it is beneficial. Most of the rest believe there was no real impact. Islam is a little worse than Catholicism. However, Canadians' positive assessment of Protestantism, Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Judaism, and atheism outweighs the negative.

There is no doubt that the Roman Catholic Church has lagged behind in apologizing, especially for the United Church and Anglican leaders who, for more than 30 years, have practiced ecclesiastical practices in schools. Compared to how the role has been publicly lamented before. Oblates said he apologized in 1991, but withheld it from high-ranking Catholic officials, presumably for legal reasons.

Last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was the most high-profile person to force the Pope to fly to Canada. Some suggest that Prime Minister Trudeau diverted the blame from Ottawa, setting up the school in 1881 (underfunded) before most schools closed by the 1970s. regularly expands on former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper's apology in 2008.

His two biggest media stories to come out of the Pope's apology revolved around the terms "discovery doctrine" and "genocide."

Activists wanted Pope Francis to withdraw the doctrine of discovery. This doctrine was created by the Vatican, along with the Spanish and Portuguese monarchies, in 1493 to claim the rights of land explorers to "discover". However, legal scholars believe that this doctrine has been ignored for centuries, since the British King issued a royal proclamation confirming the existence of the Aboriginal title in 1763, and that it did not apply to the colonization of Canada. said it was not. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Canadawill issue a statement on the complex issue.

Francis also admitted to reporters on the flight back to Rome that he believed what had happened to the indigenous peoples of Canada was "genocide." Using terminology that the United Nations also applies to his extermination of six million Jews in the Holocaust, Pope Francis calls the collective trauma of schools "cultural genocide" in Canada. It went further than the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

And what sparked the pope's visit — in the spring of 2021, hundreds of unmarked graves may have been discovered on the ruins of Kamloops. Media explosion after it was announced that there will be housing schools and more. The story went viral when The New York Times repeatedly reported that a "mass grave" had been discovered.

By the time the pope arrived, however, things had become more complicated. A few journalists, such as the National Post's Terry GlavineTerry Glavine, are veteran Indigenous affairs writers who consider boarding schools to amount to cultural genocide, and are not the I explained cautiously that the body had not been exhumed. Media editors began asking reporters to change references to the "suspect" grave.

For most Canadians, Indigenous peoples and others, the exact number of surviving student graves may not matter. A previous Angus Reed poll found that 7 out of 10 Canadians believed a "cultural slaughter" had taken place at boarding schools, suggesting that Canada has no moral policy to improve life in reserves. I thought I had an obligation.

A common view of the papal apology was expressed by some ordinary natives. They talked about the need to go beyond symbolic acts and emphasize the meaning of troubling concepts. They suggested putting more productive energy into the base of the settlement.

That means working together to continue to tackle poverty and suicide among indigenous peoples,raise employment levels,get more young people into tertiary education, and raise 1 billion dollars across forestry and beyond. It means furthering our dollar-scale business partnerships. , natural gas, or indigenous-led urban real estate development.

Despite the publication of his Truth and Reconciliation Report in 2015, many Indigenous and other Canadians have been engaged in this process for over 40 years. I was. The historic apology the Pope made to Canada in 2022 was seen by some as highly incomplete, but it made the continued effort to mend the relationship look more dynamic. rice field. Good intentions seem to do little to stop it from continuing for generations.

dtodd@postmedia. com

@douglastodd

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