Pope Francis Willing to Visit Canada as Part of Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican says Pope Francis has agreed to visit Canada to help ongoing efforts at reconciliation with Indigenous peoples following revelations of the Catholic church’s role in the abuse and deaths of thousands of children.

In a brief statement, the Vatican said the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has invited the pope to make an apostolic journey to Canada “also in the context of the long-standing pastoral process of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.”

The Vatican says Francis has indicated his “willingness” to visit Canada at a date to be determined.

Given the time usually required to organize an overseas papal visit, it appears unlikely such a pilgrimage could happen this year.

A few months ago, Francis agreed to meet in December with residential school survivors who are calling for a papal apology for the Catholic Church’s role.

At that time, the bishops conference said the pontiff had invited the delegations to the Vatican and would meet separately with three groups — First Nations, Metis and Inuit — during their December 17th to 20th visit.

The pope will then preside over a final audience with all three groups December 20th.
(The Canadian Press)

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