Pope Francis says his upcoming trip to Canada will be a “pilgrimage of penance” that he hopes will help heal wounds made by the Church’s abusive role in trying to erase indigenous cultures in state-sanctioned schools.
Between 1831 and 1996, around 150,000 children were taken from their homes, with many subjected to abuse, rape, and malnutrition in what Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls a “cultural genocide.”
The 85-year-old pontiff will visit Edmonton, Maskwacis, Lac Ste. Anne, Quebec, and Iqaluit near the arctic circle – saying two Masses and delivering nine homilies and addresses.
The trip, which had been in doubt due to the Pope’s recent knee fracture, will run from July 24-30, 2022.