Pope Francis met with two Canadian Cardinals on Saturday amid mounting pressure on the Catholic Church to take responsibility for Canada’s residential school…
Some 150,000 First Nations, Metis and Inuit children were forcibly sent to residential schools, where many suffered abuse and even death.
The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate ran about 47 per cent of Canada’s residential schools, including the one in Kamloops. The Oblates have refused to release their records to help identify the remains.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also put pressure on the Catholic Church Friday, calling on officials to “step up” and take responsibility for its role in the system and urging the release of records related to the schools.
Trudeau said he was “deeply disappointed” by the position the Catholic Church has taken, adding that he personally asked Pope Francis in 2017 to consider apologizing for the institution’s part in the government-sponsored, church-run schools.
“It’s something we are all still waiting for the Catholic Church to do,” Trudeau said.
“The judiciary should conduct criminal investigations into all suspicious death and allegations of torture and sexual violence against children hosted in residential schools, and prosecute and sanction the perpetrators and concealers who may still be alive,” the experts said in the release.
The signatories to the release included Mama Fatima Singhateh, an expert on the sexual exploitation of children, and Francisco Cali Tzay, an expert on the rights of Indigenous people.