Raymond Poisson: “Pope’s visit to Canada is another step towards reconciliation”

Raymond Poisson has been bishop since Appointed adjutant to Saint-Jerome-Mont-Laurier by Benedict XVI, today he heads the same diocese, which has thirty parishes and more than 400,000 loyalists. Francis sent her there as a curate in 2018 after a three-year visit to the diocese of Juliet. In addition, he presides over the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Canada. Bishop talks with Vida Nueva in the midst of Pope’s country visit About this “atonement” pilgrimage.



Q. What does this Pope’s visit to Canada mean for the native people? And for Catholics?

answer.- The Pope’s visit has once again been a unique opportunity for him to listen and communicate, express his deep closeness and interact with the indigenous people. Address the impact of colonialism and church involvement in the operation of boarding schools across Canada. The Holy Father made the first commitment to visit Canada after accepting the invitation of the bishops in late October 2021.

In March/April 2022, More than 30 indigenous representatives Representing First Nations, Metis and Inuit Elders, Knowledge Keepers, Residential School Survivors and Youth, Spent a week in Rome, met with Francis privately To share their stories and discuss the historical and current intergenerational trauma that continues to affect indigenous peoples.

After issuing a public apology on April 1, 2022, the Pope reiterated his desire to travel to Canada to continue the path of healing and reconciliation. This historic visit also follows a statement by the bishops of Canada apologizing to the original inhabitants of this land, in 2021. In this sense, indigenous representatives await the arrival of the Pope with great anticipation, hence the emotional and, at the same time, comforting moments that we have experienced.

Q.- What should the church do after this visit?

R.- The delegation to Rome last April follows more than three years of talks between Canadian bishops and indigenous peoples, including the House of the First Nations (AFN), the Métis National Council (MNC) and the Inuit Tapirit Kanatami (ITK) , which is intended. to learn and understand The best way is to support them on the path of healing and reconciliation.

As this dialogue continues, we have taken several important steps for the future, including the announcement of $30 million in support of healing and reconciliation initiatives, our commitment to ensure that residential schools are documented. available to survivors and the continuation of our Efforts to educate our clergy, Sanctified, and placed people in indigenous cultures and spirituality.

There is a clear consensus among Canadian bishops that more needs to be done to alleviate the historical and current suffering caused by the residential school system. The Holy Father’s visit to Canada has allowed us members of Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities to walk, walk together. It is rewarding to experience together the strong events that speak to us. Words, gestures, the presence of the Holy Father guide us in the direction we should take, It opens the way for us to keep moving together for reconciliation, healing, a vision of the future.

healing and reconciliation

Q. How is the church getting closer to the pain of the tribals?

R.- Your journey is another step in healing and reconciliation. This problem affects residential school survivors, but also anyone experiencing pain or trauma from church members. But this journey touches the top The will of the Church to live up to new projects of reconciliation with our indigenous brothers and sisters, Not just apologies.

The Pope’s visit may also have a certain liberating effect, which would allow a step towards the treatment of a greater number of victims of various forms of abuse, as well as their families, through multi-generational influence. live from. Obviously, not all victims will be appeased, but for many it will be an opportunity to hear and be impressed by the testimony heard to the pope. Tribal relationships give great importance to appearance. Hence the importance of organizing it on Canadian soil and involving as many indigenous people as possible.

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