Friday, March 31, 2023

Canada: Pope prays for indigenous | He held a public meeting in Edmonton in front of 50,000 people

Pope Francis presided over an outdoor gathering in front of thousands of people at a stadium in western Canada on Tuesday., a day after he offered a historic apology for the mistreatment meted out to Indigenous children in Catholic schools. According to officials, some 50,000 people had come to the Commonwealth Stadium. EdmontonWhere the pontiff delivered his first public meeting since arriving in Canada on Sunday on a six-day visit.

To the sound of drums and traditional tribal songs, the 85-year-old Pope arrived, waving from his popmobile. He stopped several times to kiss and bless the children, as is his custom. There were many Native Canadians in the crowd, some in traditional dress.

This journey, described by the Pope himself “Atonement Shrine”largely devoted to these indigenous populations of Canada, which are marked by Decades of forced assimilation policies in which they faced all kinds of abuses.

During his sermon in Spanish, Francis again asked “A future in which the history of violence and marginalization suffered by our indigenous brethren will never be repeated.” Some worshipers raised a banner reading “Every Child Matters”, while others wore traditional headdresses. Francisco himself wore a garment that officials said was inspired by indigenous art.

“We are children of a history that must be protected,” Francisco said. “We are not isolated, no one comes into the world isolated from others. We do not choose history, we receive it as a gift. To truly accept who we are and how much we are worth, we have to be mindful of the people we descend from. Among those who not only thought about themselves, but also transmitted the treasures of life. ,

The Pope spoke of the importance of connecting the past with the future. “In the fog of oblivion that surrounds us, it is necessary to take care of the roots. That’s how the tree grows, so does the future. We are the architects of the history that created. When we are adults, we are asked to be someone else’s father, mother, grandparent.

Where traditional music filled the air Indigenous people were recognizable by their orange T-shirts intended to symbolize the country’s failed policy of forced assimilation in boarding schools. In his first speech on Monday, the pope apologized for decades of abuse at residential schools for Indigenous children run by the Catholic Church in Canada.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Mary, a parishioner, as traditional chants echoed in the stadium in the presence of several police officers. The spiritual leaders of the world’s approximately 1.3 billion Catholics will then travel to St. Anne’s Lake, one of the major pilgrimage sites in North America, about 50 miles west of Edmonton.

Thousands of pilgrims come every year since the late 19th century to bathe and pray in the waters of this lake, which according to the natives have healing properties. July 26 is the feast day of Saint Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary and grandmother of Jesus in Catholic tradition, an important figure for many Canadian Aboriginal communities.

This Wednesday Francis will visit Quebec City before the final leg of the trip, Friday in Iqaluit (Nunavut), a city in the north of Canada in the Arctic Archipelago.


Pope First Nations, Metis and Inuit apologized on Monday in front of a crowd of people, South of Edmonton in Maskawasis, a town that housed the Erminskin residential school from 1895 to 1975.

Henry SwanepeeA member of the Sagaking First Nations said he was “disappointed” that the pope spoke Spanish, not English. “When I went to boarding school, they forbade me to speak my language, I had to speak English. I should have learned to apologize in my language, it’s not hard to say the word ‘sorry'” Told.

From the late 19th century to the early 1990s, the Canadian government sent 150,000 children to 139 church-run boarding schools, where they were separated from their families, language and culture. Many suffered physical and sexual abuse at the hands of headmasters and teachers, and thousands are believed to have died from disease, malnutrition or neglect. As of May 2021, more than 1,300 unmarked graves have been discovered at the sites of former schools.

An indigenous delegation traveled to the Vatican in April and met with the pope, who formally apologized for the past and promised to travel to Canada to tell the affected population.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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