No apology from Pope Francis for residential schools

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Unionist
No apology from Pope Francis for residential schools

Pope says he can't personally apologize for church role in residential schools

Quote:
"The Catholic Bishops of Canada have been in dialogue with the Pope and the Holy See concerning the legacy of suffering you have experienced," [Bishop Lionel] Gendron [president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops] wrote. "The Holy Father is aware of the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which he takes seriously. 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."

Not even: "So sorry to anyone who felt offended by our residential schools?"

6079_Smith_W

Yeah, that's fucked. There was one Catholic order that apologized, and the press here are speculating that his refusal is because they gave an omnibus apology some time ago for everything they did in North America.  But really. There are other churches that acknowledged their part in this genocide decades ago. And he is from the Americas. He has no excuse here.

Ratzinger said he felt bad it happened, for what that is worth. And he did meet with Phil Fontaine:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/pope-expresses-sorrow-for-abuse-at-resident...

 

Unionist

July 2015.

Quote:

National Chief Bellegarde said, “Pope Francis has shown real moral leadership with his apology and plea for forgiveness. It’s clear that the collective global movement of Indigenous peoples is making change happen; and can impact even the most powerful institutions. I am seeking to meet with Pope Francis to personally urge him to make an apology here in Canada for the role of the Catholic Church in the suffering of Indian residential school survivors, consistent with the recommendation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  I will also seek a statement from the Pope renouncing the Papal Bulls that led to the racist Doctrine of Discovery used as a rationale to deprive Indigenous peoples of the wealth of their lands and resources.”

Popes are busy guys. Plus they have lawyers who caution them about liability.

6079_Smith_W

Here's how the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops kicked that ball away (with one link to an actual apology by the Oblate Conference):

http://www.cccb.ca/site/eng/media-room/files/2630-apology-on-residential...

And here's what Bishop Don Bolen, who met with the pope last week, said about it. Francis was supposed to come here to Saskatchewan to deliver that apology. The claim about more work needing to be done about it here may be true, but he is the head of the church, and he has acknowledged their abuse in other cases:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/saskatchewan-bishops-residential...

Unionist

The ugly face of the Catholic Church was dramatically exposed yesterday on CBC's As It Happens. I can't do it justice by a few excerpts, so please listen to the full 6 minutes.

'No government tells the Pope what to say': Priest defends lack of apology for residential schools

Quote:

Why does Pope Francis feel he cannot personally respond to this request for an apology?

The Pope is not going to be used simply to apologize for a matter that has been carefully studied reflected upon and it is responsibility of the local churches where these things happen.

Over the past years each of the dioceses, that is the local churches across Canada that have had the unfortunate experiences with the First Nations communities, have been actively engaged in a reconciliation process.

There are some in the government and elsewhere who would think get the Pope over here just to apologize, I'm sorry, have a photo opportunity and move on. Unfortunately, that's not the way it goes. 

We're living in a time right now where apologies can become very cheap. They can become simply political instruments or tools to appease people, and the Catholic Church is deeply concerned that this doesn't happen.

OK, you can say that you feel it is not enough, but that's what they're asking. What is wrong with complying with that?

I can ask for anything. Any group can request anything.

It's not a group. This is the First Nations. This is the Indigenous people of Canada, as a collective, asked you for this.

Exactly, and the First Nations people, many of those who are wise and intelligent realize that the Church is engaged in a full process of reconciliation.

I've had First Nations people say to me: "We don't want something cheap. We don't want just an apology and a photo opportunity. We want a deep personal commitment on the part of the individual pastors of the church."

Furthermore, for a papal visit to take place, the Pope doesn't just decide to hop on a plane and come on over. There's a long process.

6079_Smith_W

The lie in that response is that those church leaders who are on the front line dealing with this are the ones telling him that apology is an important part of making this right. That is why Bolen went to see him. It is why he was supposed to come here.

Some of them are acknowledging responsibility, but officially there is only one real apology. I can only imagine how this is going down in some of those Catholic institutions here in Saskatchewan that are directly involved, and incorporate members of Indigenous communities. It is an incredible betrayal of trust of Indigenous people, and of Catholics who want to do the right thing.

There was an interview this morning with a residential school survivor who said she still considers herself "RC" in the recovering Catholic sense. It is easy for us atheists to say they should just up and leave, but it must be especially hard for those who are a part of that community to have the institution they supported betray them.

 

 

cco

Quote:

Over the past years each of the dioceses, that is the local churches across Canada that have had the unfortunate experiences with the First Nations communities, have been actively engaged in a reconciliation process.

Such delightful phrasing. The churches didn't do anything, you see; certainly they didn't rape, torture, or engage in genocide. They just "had unfortunate experiences". It was totally mutual. Hurt feelings on both sides.

(In case it was in any way unclear, the last four sentences of the preceding paragraph are my sarcastic interpretation of the Vatican's phrasing.)

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:
There was an interview this morning with a residential school survivor who said she still considers herself "RC" in the recovering Catholic sense. It is easy for us atheists to say they should just up and leave, but it must be especially hard for those who are a part of that community to have the institution they supported betray them.

Which "atheists" said they should "up and leave"?

Many people who identify as Roman Catholic have been working hard for many years to purge their church of the evils perpetuated by the Vatican and successive popes - from misogyny to homophobia to child abuse to collaboration with colonialism and imperialism and fascism, etc. It is our duty to encourage those trends. And that includes exposing and condemning the criminal behaviour of popes and priests as required.

6079_Smith_W

I'm not pointing the finger at you or anyone Unionist. Sorry if it sounded like it. But it is the perennial solution offered by many who don't understand what it is like to be in those communities.

I am actually thinking of the same people you are who are feeling this much harder than we are. I walk by that school every day on the way to work, and I know there are people there trying very hard to help overcome that terrible legacy, and doing critical work. They are the only people in this city who host open air powwows where everyone can see and take part. I expect many of them feel stabbed in the back  by this.

Rev Pesky

One concrete thing that could be done would be to remove the Catholic Church's tax-free status. It's bad enough they can't own up to their crimes, but then telling the rest of us how we should live, and doing it while enjoying the privilege of not having to pay taxes is despicable.