Expressing “sorrow and shame” for the complicity of Catholics in abusing Indigenous children in Canada and helping in the attempt to erase their culture, Pope Francis pledged to address the issue more fully when he visits Canada.
Members of Canada’s Assembly of First Nations gave Pope Francis a “cradleboard,” a traditional baby carrier, and asked him to keep it overnight as he reflected on what happened to Indigenous children who were sent to residential schools and, particularly, to those who never made it home again.
In response to a late June announcement, the United States will be conducting an investigation of former federally funded boarding schools to search for graves of Native American children, a spokesperson for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said June 28 the bishops will “look for ways to be of assistance.”
A delegation of Indigenous people from Canada will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican before the end of the year, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said.
Pope Francis led hundreds of pilgrims and visitors in St. Peter’s Square in a moment of silent prayer for the Indigenous children who died in Canadian residential schools and for their grieving families.