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We must turn away from colonial model, says Pope about Canada tragedy

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Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 06/06/21

Pope Francis laments pain and suffering of past, but warns against "ideological colonization" of today.

After praying the midday Angelus on June 6, Pope Francis noted the news from Canada, about the discovery of the remains of 215 children at a residential school.

With sorrow I follow the news from Canada about the shocking discovery of the remains of two hundred and fifteen children, pupils at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in the Province of British Columbia. I join the Canadian Bishops and the whole Catholic Church in Canada in expressing my closeness to the Canadian people, who have been traumatized by this shocking news.

The Pope called for a path of healing and reconciliation.

This sad discovery further heightens awareness of the pain and sufferings of the past. May the political and religious authorities in Canada continue to work together with determination to shed light on this sad event and humbly commit themselves to a path of healing and reconciliation.

The Pope said this discovery is a call to turn away from the “colonial model.” At the same time, he warned against what he likes to call “ideological colonization,” a term he uses for such phenomena as, for example, Western countries making aid to Africa contingent upon promotion of abortion or contraception. Other examples he has cited regard the promotion of gender ideology, or similar issues.

These difficult times are a strong call for everyone to turn away from the colonial model and also from the ideological colonizations of the present, and walk side by side in dialogue, mutual respect, and recognition of the rights and cultural values of all the daughters and sons of Canada.

The Pope concluded:

We commend to the Lord the souls of all the children who have died in the Canadian residential schools, and we pray for the grief-stricken indigenous families and communities of Canada.

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