A meeting between Pope Francis and a delegation of Canadian Indigenous people at the Vatican is being planned and expected before the end of the year.
A statement from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said the pastoral visit will include “the participation of a diverse group of Elders/Knowledge Keepers, residential school survivors and youth from across the country.”
The meeting has been in planning stages for over two years, said the bishops, but the pandemic stalled the project. The CCCB said it remains committed for a 2021 meeting, which it hopes will “foster meaningful encounters of dialogue and healing,” especially in the wake of the recent discovery of the remains of 215 children buried on the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.
“The event will likewise provide Pope Francis with a unique opportunity to hear directly from Indigenous Peoples, express his heartfelt closeness, address the impact of colonization and the implication of the Church in the residential schools, so as to respond to the suffering of Indigenous Peoples and the ongoing effects of intergenerational trauma,” said the CCCB statement.
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