Trudeau invites pope to Canada for Church apology to indigenous peoples

Trudeau invites pope to Canada for Church apology to indigenous peoples

Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau during a private audience at the Vatican.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a request for Pope Francis: say sorry for the role of the Catholic Church in a Canadian school system where indigenous children were abused.

"I told him about how important it is for Canadians that we move forward on real reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and highlighted how he could help by issuing an apology", Mr. Trudeau told reporters on Monday.

Trudeau's government has promised a call to action on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's demand for a papal apology to survivors, their families and communities related to the dark legacy of residential schools.

While the idea behind the schools was to promote the greater integration of indigenous communities into modern Canadian life, the schools - many run by Catholic religious orders - led to a situation in which many children were torn from their families, lost their native language and cultures and often suffered abuse.

Smith said any apology made by the pope would be best in person. "The parties then focused on the themes of integration and reconciliation". In 2015 a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Canada condemned the schools as a form of "cultural genocide".

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Perry Bellegarde, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, agreed that it would mean a lot to residential school survivors to hear an apology from the head of the Catholic church, especially if it was offered Canada. The pair discussed the importance of protecting the planet, he added.

Canadian bishops from the provinces of Ontario and Quebec met with Pope Francis recently for their ad limina visits in April and the beginning of May. The Prime Minister's Office described the audience as having been 42 minutes long. Trudeau presented Pope Francis with a rare set of Jesuit Relations books and a Montaignais-French dictionary written by a French Jesuit in the 17th century.

Although it was unclear what was said during their meeting, photos from inside the Vatican's Apostolic Palace appear to show little animosity between the pontiff and Trudeau.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who like Trudeau had been in Brussels for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders' meeting and in Sicily for the G7 summit, met the Pope for about 30 minutes last week.

A spokesperson said Trudeau had a private drink with former prime minister Matteo Renzi on Monday evening.

Along with the three customary documents, the Pope also gave the prime minister a copy of his message for the 2017 World Day of Peace, which he signed, just like the one he gave to U.S. President Donald Trump during their meeting last week.

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