It started with a kiss the hand Pope Francis’ visit to Canada The Pope’s plane left Rome this morning Landed at Edmonton AirportThe capital of the western province of Alberta was the first stop on his visit to the country.
Upon disembarking, Francesco was greeted by Governor General Mary Simon and the Prime Minister. Justin Trudeau. At Bergoglio Airport he was greeted by a tribe and wanted to greet a woman with a kiss on her hand.
“Beloved brothers and sisters of Canada, I come among you To meet tribal people. With God’s grace, I hope that my penance can contribute to the path of reconciliation that has already been undertaken. Please #come with me in prayer,” Francis wrote in a tweet as he left for Canada.
It was the 37th international trip of Bergoglio’s pontificate, leading to 56 countries he visited. This will be the fourth visit by a pontiff to Canada, following Wojtyła’s three visits in 1984, 1987 and 2002.
Ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to Canada, leaders of First Nations indigenous communities spoke loud and clear: “This is an important historical moment for survivors of the residential school system and the damage done by the Catholic Church. All those affected directly or indirectly by this system. These apologies recognize the lives we have lived and those around the world. It creates an opportunity to repair the relations of the Church with indigenous peoples. But it is not finished: there is much to do. Start “. The words of Grand Chief George Arcand Jr., distributed to the press by the Canadian Bishops’ Conference, show how laborious and difficult the path of “healing and reconciliation” is even after the horrors of the “residential school” system. A large part of the Catholic Church is in the government’s plan to integrate the indigenous population.
From 1883 until the 1960s – but the last school only closed in 1996 – some 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were forced to attend one of 139 schools distributed across the country. Their families should be converted into little Christians with their language and culture. At least 4,000 of these children have died due to all forms of abuse – including sexual -, beatings for imprisonment and punishment-intimidation purposes, disease, hunger, cold.
The “Penitential Pilgrimage” After gatherings in Rome between March and April and testimonies of papal “anger” and “shame” among Canadian indigenous communities starting today, Pope Francis wants to witness the repentance of Catholic authorities precisely in painful places. Leave once and for all the abuses of the past and all the ideologies of the colonial church.
And despite the apparent difficulties, despite severe walking problems, the 85/year-old Francesco faces this demanding journey, and the greater distance, with strong determination. “It is certainly impossible to respond to all invitations and to go everywhere, but the Holy Father is certainly motivated by the desire to show firm closeness – Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin assures the Vatican message -. Here I will say. Proximity is the key word in this case as well: The Pope does not just want to say words, but above all to come closer, to show his closeness in a tangible way. So he embarks on a journey to touch the sufferings of those people with his hands, pray with them and become a pilgrim among them.
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