AA/ Montreal / Hatem Kattou
Pope Francis will travel to Canada from July 24 to 29, with visits to three cities in maple country, namely, Quebec, Edmonton and Iqaluit.
This is what emerges from a press release made public on Friday by the Vatican press service.
Commenting on the announcement, Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton, general coordinator of the trip for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, said, “Indigenous culture and spirituality will be central to all events Pope Francis attends.”
He added, in statements made to local media, that “The pope is there for indigenous communities. It is his priority”.
During this visit, a stopover at a boarding school for Aboriginals is expected.
It should be noted that during the last year, several bones and human remains of indigenous children had been discovered near residential schools that were once administered by the indigenous Church, which had caused a vast wave of indignation.
Reacting to the announcement of the visit, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, wanted to “welcome the news of His Holiness Pope Francis’ visit to Canada this summer to formally apologize to the Roman Catholic Church for the role that she played in the operation of the residential schools, which caused lasting pain and suffering among Indigenous peoples across the country.”
He added in a statement posted on his official website that “Without the courage and determination of Survivors, Indigenous leaders and youth who told their stories, His Holiness’ upcoming visit would not be possible.”
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