Pope Francis on Monday (July 25) made good on a promise to apologize to Canada’s native people on their home land for the Church’s role in schools where indigenous children were abused, branding forced cultural assimilation “evil” and a “disastrous error.”
Speaking near the site of a former school, Francis apologized for Christian support of the “colonizing mentality” of the times. He called for a “serious investigation” of the so-called residential schools and more assistance to help survivors and descendants heal.
A traditional headdress was placed on the Pope, to applause by members of the indigenous community and survivors of the residential schools.
The 85-year-old pope is making the week-long apology tour of Canada to fulfill a promise he made to indigenous delegations that visited him this year at the Vatican, where he made the initial apology.