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Pope asks for forgiveness for residential school abuses at weekly audience

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Pope francis is asking forgiveness again for the abuses that indigenous peoples suffered in canada's residential schools now this is a live look at the vatican this hour the pope gave his weekly address there earlier this morning and he dedicated his talk to reflections on his trip last week to canada it was unlike other journeys.

In fact the main motivation was to meet the indigenous peoples to express to them my closeness my sorrow and to ask forgiveness forgiveness for the harm done to them pope francis apologized at several stops last week on what he called his pilgrimage of penance in canada this.

Morning he was again speaking on the role of members of the catholic church and the harms done to indigenous people live now from london with more on this so abby tell us about what the pope is saying about his visit to canada there is much reflection on this trip during the weekly address at the vatican today he asked for forgiveness for the.

Harm done by christians including catholics in canada let's have a listen there was unfortunately no shortage of those who participated in programs that today we understand is unacceptable and contrary to the gospel and for this i went to ask for forgiveness in the name of the church.

The pope spoke of the long history of indigenous people and the painful memory of abuse that they suffered he also talked about how the most beautiful thing he'd seen in canada was the harmony between indigenous people and the land so reflecting on his trip further today but not speaking further on what else the catholic church will do.

To advance that healing and reconciliation and abby indigenous leaders even some christians have been calling for pope francis to rescind what's called the doctrine of discovery why is that important this doctrine goes back to the 15th century and as you mentioned indigenous leaders have been calling on the pope to.

Rescind it the doctrine is a set of edicts from the catholic church that was used to justify european colonization and spread christianity spanish portuguese and english kings used it to seize new lands and plunder them in the name of exploration and their christian faith i spoke with professor michael walsh here earlier this morning and he.

Says the pope could have renounced the doctrine while he was in canada if he was going to do it at all it wouldn't have been difficult for him to do that i mean i think with various missteps in canada and that was one he could he could have done that but of course folks do find it very difficult given the nature of their office and.

The nature of their authority to go back on what uh their predecessors have done and you know they they they don't feel they can change the rules backwards another professor of theology pointed out to me that pope paul iii did oppose the enslavement of indigenous people.

With his own decrees in the 16th century but as we know european nations continue to colonize and churches in countries like canada continue to forcibly convert indigenous people and the doctrine of discovery went on to be used as the foundation for the legal system in the u.s and in canada one that did not recognize the rights of indigenous.

People on their own land and the doctrine also provided the justification for residential schools that caused deep suffering for generations over centuries and indigenous communities have made it clear that hearing the head of the catholic church the pope renounced this doctrine would help the process of reconciliation abby cucadassen in london.

Thank you

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