AMERICA/CANADA – The dialogue between Catholic bishops and indigenous delegates continues, to achieve “a better future”
Ottawa (Agenzia Fides) – “We are deeply grateful to each of the indigenous delegates who have come with us to the Holy See to share their experiences and their wishes for a better future for their people”, says the President of the Canadian Episcopal Conference (CCCB), Monsignor Raymond Poisson, at the end of his visit to the Vatican from March 28 to April 1 (see Fides 3/28/2022; 3/30/2022; 4/2/2022). “The Holy Father has heard firsthand the stories of those who have suffered at the hands of members of the Catholic Church and has responded with compassion, grief and a genuine desire for truth, justice and healing,” he said. -He underlines.
The delegates – continues the CCCB note – shared many of their experiences, the time spent in residential schools, the loss of their culture and their language, the complex relationships with the Catholic faith that still continue today. Pope Francis was moved by their courage, their commitment and their resistance in the face of suffering. He emphasized his shame at the role of the Catholic Church in the residential school system and made a new commitment to visit Indigenous peoples on Canadian soil.
For more than three years, a dialogue has been established between the Catholic bishops of Canada and their Aboriginal partners to discern the best way to embark on the path of healing and reconciliation. As this dialogue continues CCCB President, we have taken several important steps to support a better future, including the announcement of $30 million to support healing and reconciliation initiatives, the commitment to ensure ensure that residential school materials are made available to survivors and continue our efforts to educate our clergy, consecrated men and women, and lay faithful in Indigenous cultures and spirituality. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 4/4/2022)