Pope prepares for 'penitential pilgrimage' to Canada | Pope Francis in Canada

Pope prepares for “penitential pilgrimage” in Canada | Pope Francis in Canada< /p>

85-year-old Pope Francis will visit Edmonton, Maskwacis, Lac Sainte-Anne and Iqaluit.

A week away from coming to Canada, Pope Francis has called his trip a “penitential pilgrimage” that he hopes will help heal the wrongs done to Indigenous people by Catholic priests and nuns who ran residential schools. in the country.

The long-awaited official apology trip of the sovereign pontiff will take place from July 24 to 29.

It will include at least five stages separated by thousands of kilometers between two Canadian provinces (Alberta and Quebec) and one territory (Nunavut) despite knee pain that reduces its mobility and a seventh wave of COVID- 19 raising fears of a resurgence of contamination during the gatherings that this historic event will bring about.

After apologizing last April for the deplorable conduct of certain members of the Catholic Church involved in residential schools, the Holy Father wished to apologize in person to the Aboriginal peoples in their territory.

Unfortunately, in Canada, many Christians, including some members of religious orders, have contributed to policies of cultural assimilation which in the past have seriously harmed indigenous populations in various ways, the President repeated. Pope Francis during his weekly address to those present in St. Peter's Square on Sunday, a week before his departure from the Vatican.

Other confirmed and alleged victims of sexual assaults committed by members of the clergy in Quebec want to take advantage of the papal visit to ask for better collaboration from the Vatican in the file of pedophile priests.

In particular, they would like compensation for class actions to be released and for pedophile priests to be tried in court.

On Sunday, the Pope also mentioned his meeting with a delegation made up of Inuit, Métis and members of the First Nations, who came to the Vatican from March 28 to April 1.

On the spot, some survivors were able to testify to their past and the stigma left by the State and the Church with the residential schools for Aboriginals, because of which 150,000 children were uprooted from their homes.

Many were victims of abuse, rape and malnutrition in what the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in 2015 called a cultural genocide.< /p>

Pope Francis, during an audience with representatives of indigenous peoples at the Vatican, April 1, 2022.

Recalling those encounters, Pope Francis said Sunday that he expressed [his] pain and [his] solidarity over the harm they endured.

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“I am about to make a pilgrimage of penance which I hope, with the grace of God, can contribute to the path of healing and reconciliation that has already been started.

—Pope Francis

The 85-year-old pontiff will visit Edmonton, Maskwacis, Lac Sainte-Anne, Quebec, and Iqaluit , in the Arctic territory of Canada. He is due to deliver nine homilies and addresses, and celebrate two masses.

The pope had to cancel a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan in early July due to x27;a knee problem that forced him to first use a wheelchair and then a cane.

In an interview with Reuters on July 2, he gave details of his illness for the first time publicly, saying he had suffered a small fracture in the knee while making a misstep and that a ligament was inflamed.

With information from Reuters

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