Call to Action # 58

We call upon the Pope to issue an apology to Survivors, their families, and communities for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children in Catholic-run residential schools. We call for that apology to be similar to the 2010 apology issued to Irish victims of abuse and to occur within one year of the issuing of this Report and to be delivered by the Pope in Canada. 

Why “In Progress?”

May 13, 2022: Pope Francis to visit Edmonton, Québec City and Iqaluit on Canada tour from July 24-30

April 1, 2022 – Pope Francis apologizes to Indigenous delegates including residential school survivors for the Catholic Church’s role in the residential school system in Canada: “I am very sorry.” The Pope is expected to come to Canada forJuly 26, 2021

Oct. 27, 2021 – 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.

Sept. 24, 2021: The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a “Statement of Apology” in an open letter and also pledged to work with the Holy See and our Indigenous partners on the possibility of a pastoral visit by the Pope to Canada as part of this healing journey.

The pope officially refused to apologize in a formal letter delivered by the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on March 27, 2018.

Current Status

May 13, 2022

In Progress

Previous Status

April 4, 2022

In Progress

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Actions and Commitments


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Pope Francis apology

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Timelines for Pope’s Apology

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CCCB Open Letter Apology

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Indigenous comments after Pope Francis meetings in Rome

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