Pope Francis has called on young indigenous people in northern Canada to preserve their traditions and land. The young are the future in the territories, said the 85-year-old Argentine on Friday evening (local time) in the coastal town of Iqaluit. He said it is not enough to live off what others have already created. One must also conquer for oneself what one has received as a gift, the Catholic Church leader explained further.
The Pope’s visit to Canada was to ask for forgiveness from the indigenous people of Canada. In Iqaluit, a few hundred kilometers south of the Arctic Circle, he addressed the Inuit primarily. For decades, tens of thousands of Native children experienced violence and abuse in boarding schools run by the Catholic Church.
“Today, also here, I want to tell you that I am unfortunate and ask for forgiveness,” Francis continued. He said he wanted to apologize for the evil committed by “not a few Catholics” who contributed to the policy of cultural assimilation and disenfranchisement in these schools.
Following the roughly four-hour visit to Iqaluit, Francis departed again for Rome. His six-day trip to Canada thus came to an end. He was expected in Rome on Saturday morning.
- source: orf.at/picture: pixabay.com
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