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Pope Francis

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Pope Francis

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Justin Trudeau asks pope for public apology to Canada's indigenous communities

2017-05-29

"Morning.”
"Good morning.”
"Nice to meet you.”
"It's a pleasure. It's a pleasure to meet you, Holy Father.”

While evidently holding in his emotion, Catholic Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, respectfully met with Pope Francis Monday morning.

The two spoke with official translators about "issues of integration and reconciliation, along with religious freedom and current ethical issues.” 

Trudeau asked Pope Francis for a public apology, on behalf of the Church, to Canada's first indigenous communities, who suffered physical and sexual abuse by Catholic-run schools.

It is a drama that affected about 150,000 natives in the late nineteenth century, who were forced to abandon their customs and assimilate the rest of the population in schools belonging to federal authorities, Catholics or Protestants.

In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI apologized and "expressed his sorrow at the anguish caused by the deplorable conduct of some members of the Church." 

However, it was only to a certain delegation of aboriginal leaders in particular, so the commission refused to acknowledge it because it did not affect the other victims who are still living.
 
It is also expected that the Prime Minister personally invited the pope to come to Canada to apologize in person to all those who suffered. 

After their private time of discussion, Trudeau also presented his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, to the Holy Father. The couple just celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary on Sunday.

When it came to the gifts, Prime Minister Trudeau gave Pope Francis very personal gifts, including a report Jesuit missionaries did on Canada during the 17th Century. 

"This is a very rare edition we got from the Jesuits.”

Pope Francis, on the other hand, gifted him a different medallion than he usually gives other leaders. However, the three documents of his pontificate: Evangelii Gaudium, Amoris Laetitia and Laudato si' were also among the presents. 

While the pope gave gifts to the whole delegation present, he joked with Mrs. Trudeau. 

Then, Pope Francis kindly led the two out.


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