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Pope: Canada is ‘writing a new page’ in Church’s relationship with indigenous peoples

The pope said that his pastoral visit to Canada last week was “a different journey” from the other 36 international trips of his pontificate

Pope Francis said Wednesday that Canada is in the process of “writing a new page” in the relationship between the Catholic Church and indigenous peoples.

Speaking during his general audience in Vatican City on Aug. 3, the pope said that his pastoral visit to Canada last week was “a different journey” from the other 36 international trips of his pontificate.

“There were many joyful moments, but the sense and tone, on the whole, was one of reflection, repentance, and reconciliation,” he reflected.



The pope told the crowd that his main motivation for the July 24-29 trip to Edmonton, Québec, and Iqaluit was to be close to the indigenous peoples and “to ask for forgiveness … for the harm done to them by those Christians, including many Catholics, who in the past collaborated in the forced assimilation and enfranchisement policies of the governments of the time.”

“In this sense, Canada has embarked on the process of writing a new page, an important page, in the journey that the Church has been making together with the indigenous peoples for some time,” Francis added.

“From this journey of memory, reconciliation, and healing springs hope for the Church, in Canada and everywhere,” he said.

Pope Francis walked into Paul VI Hall for his Wednesday audience using a cane without assistance. The crowd cheered as the pope slowly made his way across the stage.

- Newsletter -

The audience occurred four days after his return to Rome from the week-long trip to Canada — a trip which the pope said made him realize that he may need to slow down a bit with his travel schedule due to his health.

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