Pope’s Healing Word of Apology to Indigenous People
Pop’s Francis apologized to the representatives of Canada’s First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people.
Church-run residential school systems inflicted cultural, physical, and sexual brutality against indigenous people which remains a source of intergenerational anguish and suffering. The pop’s healing word of apology may heal the wounds, “with all my heart, I am very sorry.”
It was a remarkable visit of the 32-member indigenous delegation, plus another 150, who came to support them, not only for its final day but for the long process week and for what remains to be done.
The full text of the papal apology was largely effective. Pope Francis spoke with attentive listening, prayerful contemplation, and deep reflection on what the Indigenous delegation’s stories had provoked in him.
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The pope acknowledged the spirituality and “traditional wisdom” of his visitors: their views of their lives as an “intimate web of relationships with God, with humanity, with community, with all species, with the earth which is our common home.”
The pope said, settlers had not cared about their union with the land “by colonizing they undermined your respect, tore many of you from your backgrounds, and tried to conform you like a different and inferior race. “ talking about the role of the residential school system, the pope said it was, “terrifying to think of evil efforts to instill of a sense of inferiority, to deprive people of their identity, to cut off their roots, and to consider all the personal and social effects that continue to entail: horribly unresolved trauma that has become intergenerational traumas.”
Unsurprisingly, even before the visit’s final day, delegates were speaking about the horrible anguish that which pope told them he had felt in depth.
“What I have felt out of all this tragic situation are two things: shame and indignations,” he said while working toward the apology in his address.
Without feeling shame and indignation, “without historical memory, without firm commitment to seriously learn from past mistakes, problems remain unresolved,” Francis said, “I feel shame and sorrow for a role that a number of catholic played in this event, I more ashamed particularly for those educational responsibilities they have been involved in wounding you, in abusing you, in showing disrespect to your identity, to your culture and even to your spiritual values, I ask for God’s forgiveness, I say to you humbly with all my heart: I am sorry. And for an apology, I join my brothers, the bishops of Canada, in asking your pardon.”
“We promise you to help rediscover and revitalize your culture,” the pope said.
Psychologists think that apology, if truly genuine and heartfelt contain useful components: acknowledgment of wrong or hurt, empathy, remorse, and restitution these beautiful qualities are built into the Roman Catholic teachings and understanding of penance itself. It includes confession, contrition, and satisfaction. It is then forgiveness or absolutions occur.