Call to Action # 58: Actions and Commitments

Timelines for Pope's Apology


March 27, 2018


Catholic Church

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops states that Pope Francis cannot personally apologize

A letter released Tuesday by the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops says Pope Francis has not shied away from recognizing injustices faced by Indigenous peoples around the world, but that he can’t personally apologize for residential schools.

“As far as Call to Action #58 is concerned, after carefully considering the request and extensive dialogue with the Bishops of Canada, he felt that he could not personally respond. At the same time, sharing your pain, he has encouraged the Bishops to continue to engage in an intensive pastoral work of reconciliation, healing and solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples and to collaborate in concrete projects aimed at improving the condition of the First Peoples. With respect to their culture and values, the Pope encourages the young to gather the wealth of traditions, experience and wisdom that comes from the Elders, whilst inviting the Elders to make this patrimony available to the young, so that they might carry it forward while facing the challenges that life presents. In this context, a future Papal visit to Canada may be considered, taking into account all circumstances, and including an encounter with the Indigenous Peoples as a top priority.”

Lionel Gendron, P.S.S., Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueil and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops


April 26, 2018


Catholic Church

Catholic Church denies accountability for residential school abuses

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops – has claimed in recent weeks, in defence of a statement that Pope Francis could not “personally respond” to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s request for an apology for residential schools, that the Catholic Church itself could not be blamed for the abuses committed at the institutions. The conference says the schools were run by 16 dioceses and about 36 orders independent of the direction or responsibility of Catholic Church, represented by the Pope in the Vatican. Yet, the OPP records along with historical files reveal that the Catholic hierarchy in Canada, from the cardinal level down to the bishop, were deeply involved with residential schools and their fingerprints are even found in the Indian Act. (CBC)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/residential-schools-letters-catholic-hierarchy-1.4635275


April 26, 2018


Catholic Church

Catholic Church states that the Church itself could not be blamed for the residential schools

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has claimed in recent weeks, in defence of a statement that Pope Francis could not “personally respond” to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s request for an apology for residential schools, that the Catholic Church itself could not be blamed for the abuses committed at the institutions. The conference says the schools were run by 16 dioceses and about 36 orders independent of the direction or responsibility of Catholic Church, represented by the Pope in the Vatican. Yet, the OPP records along with historical files reveal that the Catholic hierarchy in Canada, from the cardinal level down to the bishop, were deeply involved with residential schools and their fingerprints are even found in the Indian Act. (CBC)


March 27, 2018


Catholic Church

Indigenous clergyman to represent Canada at Anglophone Safeguarding Conference

Deacon Rennie Nahanee, a Squamish First Nation Deacon and the Archdiocese of Vancouver’s co-ordinator of First Nations ministry, is one of two people chosen to represent Canadian clergy at a conference in June. Nahanee, a Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCAB) adviser on relations with Indigenous people, is representing Canada along with Bishop Mark Hagemoen of Saskatoon June 18-21. The pair will give a report at the Anglophone Safeguarding Conference, which was created in 2004 as a response to sexual abuse by clergy in an effort to make Catholic parishes and schools safer. He’s not sure he’ll meet Pope Francis, but he knows what he’ll tell him if he gets the chance.

“I’d certainly ask him about his thoughts on a visit to Canada. I would tell him why I think it’s important. His words could sway other Canadians to think about reconciliation. Us, by ourselves, in the Church, don’t move a lot of people. Someone like Pope Francis could.” (The Catholic Register)


November 10, 2021


Catholic Church

Indigenous delegation to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops – announce that 25-30 First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Elders, knowledge keepers, residential school survivors, and youth will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican from December 17-20, 2021, accompanied by a small group of Canadian Bishops. The delegation has been planned through ongoing dialogue with the Assembly of First Nations, the Métis National Council, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and other Indigenous leaders.

Representatives from the Vatican have confirmed that the Holy Father will participate in private meetings with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis delegates respectively to hear their personal stories of the lasting legacy of residential schools. Delegates will also have the opportunity to speak with the Holy Father about their hopes and expectations for his eventual pilgrimage to Canada. Centred around the principles of mutual trust, respect, and a shared desire to move forward for a more hopeful future, the Canadian Bishops and Indigenous Partners have agreed upon the theme, “Indigenous Peoples and the Church: Walking Together Toward Healing and Reconciliation”.


February 1, 2022


Catholic Church

Indigenous delegation to meet Pope Francis the week of March 28, 2022

Pope Francis is now scheduled to meet with individual Indigenous delegations the week of March 28, 2022. A final audience with all participants will take place on Friday, April 1, 2022.


March 27, 2018


Catholic Church

Indigenous representative at Anglophone Safeguarding Conference

Deacon Rennie Nahanee, a Squamish First Nation Deacon and the Archdiocese of Vancouver’s co-ordinator of First Nations ministry, is one of two people chosen to represent Canadian clergy at a conference in June. Nahanee, a Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCAB) adviser on relations with Indigenous people, is representing Canada along with Bishop Mark Hagemoen of Saskatoon June 18-21. The pair will give a report at the Anglophone Safeguarding Conference, which was created in 2004 as a response to sexual abuse by clergy in an effort to make Catholic parishes and schools safer. He’s not sure he’ll meet Pope Francis, but he knows what he’ll tell him if he gets the chance.

“I’d certainly ask him about his thoughts on a visit to Canada. I would tell him why I think it’s important. His words could sway other Canadians to think about reconciliation. Us, by ourselves, in the Church, don’t move a lot of people. Someone like Pope Francis could.” (The Catholic Register)


May 2, 2018


Catholic Church

Parliament calls of Pope Francis to apologize

Parliament of Canada votes 269 to 10 across all party lines to call on Pope Francis to apologize for the Catholic Church’s role in the Indigenous Residential School system and also to call on the Catholic Church to “resume best efforts” to raise funds as agreed in the 2006 settlement deal between residential school students, religious groups that ran the schools and the federal government. The motion also asked Catholic entities to make “consistent and sustained “efforts to provide documents from the schools to former students who want them. (Toronto Star)


May 2, 2018


Catholic Church

Parliament calls on Pope Francis to apologize and for the church to continue fund-raising efforts

Parliament of Canada votes 269 to 10 across all party lines to call on Pope Francis to apologize for the Catholic Church’s role in the Indigenous Residential School system and also to call on the Catholic Church to “resume best efforts” to raise funds as agreed in the 2006 settlement deal between residential school students, religious groups that ran the schools and the federal government. The motion also asked Catholic entities to make “consistent and sustained “efforts to provide documents from the schools to former students who want them. (Toronto Star)


December 16, 2015


Catholic Church

PM will formally seek Pope’s apology

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will seek a formal apology from Pope Francis for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in residential schools, a day after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission made public its final report into the legacy of the schools.


October 27, 2021


Catholic Church

Pope Francis agrees to make an “apostolic journey to Canada”

CBC – The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops announced that Pope Francis had accepted their invitation to make “an apostolic journey to Canada “also in the context of the long-standing pastoral process of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.” Rev. Raymond Poisson, CCCB president.

“We pray that Pope Francis’ visit to Canada will be a significant milestone in the journey toward reconciliation and healing.”


July 1, 2021


Catholic Church

Pope Francis agrees to meet Indigenous residential school survivors

The Guardian – Pope Francis has agreed to meet Indigenous survivors of Canada’s notorious residential schools in December, amid calls for a papal apology for the Catholic church’s role in the abuse and deaths of thousands of children. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) said Francis had invited delegations to the Vatican and would meet three groups – First Nations, Métis and Inuit – separately before presiding over a final audience with all three.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCAB) said the trip was contingent on developments in the pandemic and that the delegations would include survivors of the residential schools, Indigenous elders and youths, as well as Indigenous leaders and Canadian bishops.


June 6, 2021


Catholic Church

Pope Francis expresses “sorrow” but not an apology after discovery of unmarked graves at Kamloops residential school

NPR – In prepared remarks delivered from St. Peter’s, a little over a week after the discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children in unmarked graves on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, Pope Francis “expressed sorrow but never explicitly apologized for the church’s role in the forced re-education of more than 150,000 children, who were taken from their homes over a period of 150 years during the 19th and 20th centuries.


July 1, 2021


Catholic Church

Pope Francis invites Indigenous delegation to the Vatican

The Guardian – Pope Francis has agreed to meet Indigenous survivors of Canada’s notorious residential schools in December, amid calls for a papal apology for the Catholic church’s role in the abuse and deaths of thousands of children. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) said Francis had invited delegations to the Vatican and would meet three groups – First Nations, Métis and Inuit – separately before presiding over a final audience with all three.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCAB) said the trip was contingent on developments in the pandemic and that the delegations would include survivors of the residential schools, Indigenous elders and youths, as well as Indigenous leaders and Canadian bishops.


April 15, 2022


Catholic Church

Pope Francis likely to visit Edmonton, Québec City and Iqaluit

Pope Francis is expected to visit at least three cities during a late July trip to Canada, CBC News has learned.

Sources involved in the planning of the trip say the Pope will likely make stops in Edmonton, Quebec City and Iqaluit during what is scheduled to be about a four-day trip to the country. CBC News is not identifying the confidential sources because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Sources say the trip with the three planned stops — which will be funded by the Canadian Catholic Church, with possible federal dollars — was in discussion before the Vatican meetings.

The delegates who travelled to Rome expect Pope Francis to deliver a fulsome apology on Canadian soil for the church’s role in running residential schools, which would fulfil a key call from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Métis National Council president Cassidy Caron said Vatican advance teams have already scouted Iqaluit, Quebec City and Edmonton in preparation for the trip.

If the Pope goes to Edmonton, Caron said she hopes he will also take the opportunity to visit ​the Lac Ste. Anne Pilgrimage grounds, designated a national historic site of Canada, 78 kilometres to the northwest. “It is a special site,” she said. “A spiritual site, a healing site for Métis people.”

In Rome, Pope Francis said he wanted to attend the annual pilgrimage to Lac Ste. Anne, which takes place from July 25 to 28 this year.

In a statement to CBC News, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) said it is consulting national Indigenous organizations on dates and locations, which have not yet been finalized, and will continue those discussions for the programming of the visit if and when it is confirmed. The Vatican has the ultimate say, and sources said a formal announcement is expected in the coming weeks. 


June 6, 2021


Catholic Church

Pope Francis still refuses to apologize

NPR – In prepared remarks delivered from St. Peter’s, a little over a week after the discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children in unmarked graves on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, Pope Francis “expressed sorrow but never explicitly apologized for the church’s role in the forced re-education of more than 150,000 children, who were taken from their homes over a period of 150 years during the 19th and 20th centuries.


December 16, 2015


Catholic Church

Prime Minster Trudeau to ask Pope Francis for a formal apology to residential school survivors

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will seek a formal apology from Pope Francis for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in residential schools, a day after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission made public its final report into the legacy of the schools.


December 7, 2021


Catholic Church

Trip to Rome postponed due to COVID

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops along with the Assembly of First Nations, the Métis National Council and the Inuit Tapariit Kanatami announce that the trip to Rome has been postponed due to COVID-19 and will be rescheduled to the earliest opportunity in 2022.


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