“It was a genocide,” Pope Francis reiterated on violence against indigenous people in Canada
Pope Francis recognized that what happened in the residential schools that the Catholic Church and other Christian churches directed in Canada, against the indigenous people of the region “It was genocide.”
Upon his return to Rome, a journalist questioned the Pontiff why he had not referred to “genocide” as violence against indigenous people, especially childrenin Canada by the representatives of the Church.
“It’s true, I didn’t use the word because it didn’t come to mind, but I described the genocide and I apologized, sorry for this activity that is genocidalFrancis answered according to VaticanNews.
He explained that although he had not used the word genocide before, he did describe it with its condemnations of the abduction of indigenous children, the actions carried out by the Church to change the culture and mentality of the nativesas well as attempts to eradicate their traditions.
“It is true, yes, yes, it is genocide. Everyone can stay calm about this. You can report that I said it was genocide“, he expressed.
Between 1881 and 1996 more than 150 thousand indigenous children they were separated from their families and taken to boarding schools. Schools were run by governments and by religious groups, most of them Catholic priests and nuns.
Many children they were starved, beaten and sexually abused in a system that the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission called “cultural genocide”.
Last Monday, Francis visited the town of Maskwacis, the site of two former residential schools, where he apologized and called the forced assimilation “evil” and “disastrous mistake”.
He also apologized for Christian support for the “settler mentality” of the time.
A new stage of his pontificate
Pope Francis said his advanced age and difficulty walking have given way to a slower new phase of his pontificate and reiterated that he would be ready to resign one day if serious health problems prevent him from leading the Church.
“I don’t think I can go at the same pace as before. I think that at my age and with this limitation, I have to save a little to be able to serve the Church or, on the contrary, think about the possibility of step aside“.
During the last months, Francis, 85 years oldhave been using a wheelchair, cane, or walker due to knee pain caused by a fracture and inflamed ligament.
Before the journalists, the pope ruled out future knee surgery. He explained that although the experts have said that there is a possibility, he has chosen that he does not want to undergo anesthesia again.
“I underwent more than six hours of anesthesia ten months ago and there are still traces. Do not play with anesthesia“.
However, he assured that he will try to continue with the trips to be able to be close to people.