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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Pope receives testimony of abuse in Canada as “slap”


Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience at the Vatican on August 3, 2022. afp_tickers

This content 03 Aug 2022 – 10:07 . was published on

(AFP)

Pope Francis admitted on Wednesday that he received a “slap” from the dramatic testimony he heard during his visit to Canada from Indigenous victims of abuse at Catholic boarding schools.

During the weekly general audience at the Vatican, the Argentine pontiff said, “I can assure you that in those meetings, especially in the last meeting, I felt pain like a slap in the face of those people.”

The pontiff returned on Saturday from a six-day visit to Canada during which he apologized for decades of abuses by the Catholic Church against First Nations, Métis and Inuit representatives.

Before reporters accompanying him on the flight to Rome, Francis did not hesitate to admit that the treatment of indigenous peoples in Canada was “genocide”, a word he did not say during his visit.

He acknowledged that it was “a painful moment” to hear “old people who have lost children who don’t know where they are”.

Francis concluded his trip to Canada Friday in Iqaluit, the capital of the vast region of Nunavut in the Arctic archipelago, where he again apologized for violence at 139 boarding schools that sent nearly 150,000 indigenous children since the end of the 19th century. went. 1990s.

Many faced physical and sexual abuse there and at least 6,000 people are believed to have died from malnutrition, disease, abuse or neglect.

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