Aboriginal residential schools: Ottawa invites the pope to ask for forgiveness

Pensionnats autochtones: Ottawa invite le pape à demander pardon

OTTAWA — The Parliament calls on pope Francis to ask for forgiveness.

The deputies of the Communes have adopted Tuesday a motion asking the pope to apologize for the abuse suffered by aboriginal children in residential schools run by catholic institutions. Shortly before Easter, the catholic bishops in canada have indicated that the pope would not, for the moment, such an apology.

The New democratic Party (NDP) has therefore taken the initiative to appeal directly to the pope. The motion, debated last week, has been submitted to a vote Tuesday after-noon and adopted without difficulty.

Only ten conservative mps opposed the motion, preventing the Common to make a gesture unanimous. Garnett Genuis was in the account. The elected alberta has already indicated that it considers that the State has no business dictating its conduct to the Church. He has not returned calls from The canadian Press after the vote.

“It is an extraordinary time. […] I’m not going to do with the number of people who have voted for or against”, has released the new democrat member of parliament Charlie Angus has tabled the motion and who had an eagle feather in hand when they voted.

“It is a question that has raised a lot of emotion in the area that I represent,” explained the elected in northern Ontario.

It is by 269 votes to 10 that the motion was adopted. The leader of the conservatives Andrew Scheer did not show up to vote.

Entering the Commons a few minutes before the vote, the prime minister Justin Trudeau recalled the importance which it attached to these excuses.

“It’s been a long time that we talk about it. It is recommendations of the Commission [truth and reconciliation], and this is something that I have asked the pope to do when I was at the Vatican,” noted Mr. Trudeau. At the end of this interview that dates back to the end of may 2017, the prime minister had reported that the pope had been open to the idea.

“I’m very, very confident that pope Francis is going to respond [to the request] and I hope that the catholic bishops of Canada will hear the message and say “yes, we must attend to that,”” said the mp for Angus at the output of the Commons.

At the end of the day, the catholic bishops Conference of Canada, it is stated not to have decided what response to offer the gesture of members of parliament.

Text of the motion

That, to answer the call of the truth and reconciliation Commission aimed at advancing our nation on the path of a true healing for the crimes of the era of aboriginal residential schools, the Chamber:

(a) invites pope Francis to join in the journey with Canadians in responding to the call-to-action number 58 of the report of the truth and reconciliation Commission and an apology papal official to the role played by the catholic Church in canada, in the implementation, operations, and the abuse of aboriginal residential schools;

(b) application to the catholic Church in canada fulfill its moral obligation as well as the spirit of the Convention of the indian residential schools settlement agreement of 2006, and re-deploy every possible effort to raise the total amount of funds agreed upon;

(c) request to all the catholic entities involved in the operations of the residential schools to make efforts consistent and supported to deliver the relevant documents when they are called upon to do so by survivors of aboriginal residential schools, by members of their family or by experts working to understand the extent of the horrors of the residential school system-indigenous, in the interest of truth and reconciliation.


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