Canada’s bishops working to get Catholic Church statement on Doctrine of Discovery – National

Canadian Bishop is working with the Vatican in the hope of issuing a new statement from the Catholic Church on the Doctrine of Discovery, the organizers of the pope’s visit said Wednesday.

Many Indigenous leaders and residential school survivors had hoped Pope Pope Francis will abandon the policy, which has its roots in a series of decrees, known as papal bulls, dating back to the 15th century. Nations, including Canadaused the doctrine to justify colonial lands that were considered uninhabited, but were in fact inhabited by Indigenous Peoples.

The Pope made no direct mention of the Doctrine of Discovery when he apologized to survivors of the residential school in Maskwacis, Alta., on Monday, which has led to criticism that they does not fully recognize the role of the Catholic Church in the residential school system.

Laryssa Waler, a spokeswoman for the Pope’s visit, said on Wednesday the Vatican had previously said the papal bulls were involved in the doctrine of “no legal or moral authority.” in the church.

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“However, we understand the desire to name these texts, acknowledge their impact, and abandon the concepts associated with them,” she wrote in an email.

She added: “Spurred by the appeal of our Indigenous partners, and following the Holy Father’s comment, the bishops of Canada are working with the Vatican and those who have studied the issue. , with the goal of issuing a new statement from the church. “The bishops of Canada continue to reject and oppose ideas related to the Doctrine of Discovery in the strongest possible way.”

She also mentioned parts of the Pope’s apology where she said the policies were “directly condemned” in relation to the Doctrine of Discovery. She says that includes when he says “many members of the church and of religious communities have collaborated, especially through their indifference, in projects that destroy culture.” and forced assimilation promoted by the governments of the time, culminating in the population system. schools. “

Earlier, Thailand’s Minister of Indigenous Relations Marc Miller said that “holes” in the Pope’s apology cannot be ignored.

Miller emphasizes how deeply the Pope’s words, delivered before the crowds of survivors and others gathered near Edmonton, mean deeply to those who are now absorbing them.

“This is still an emotional moment,” he said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

The minister said Indigenous people will decide for themselves what they think.

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Criticisms of the apology include Pope Francis’ failure to mention sexual abuse in his remarks, and that he referred to “crimes” committed by Christians, not the Church. Catholicism as an organization.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) apparently called for a papal apology similar to the 2010 one the Vatican made to victims in Ireland, Miller said.

The minister said that the apology – sent by Pope Benedict XVI through a letter – directly addressed the sexual abuses suffered by Irish children and the role of the Catholic Church.

“There’s a clear difference in the two,” says Miller. “The difference speaks for itself.”

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), representing the northern First Nations, said in a statement that it was pleased to see survivors received an apology, but noted the omission of the apology because sexual abuse.

“Apologizing and acknowledging the harm done is just one step out of many that needed to happen. There is still a lot of work to be done.”

“It’s a bit of a surprise that the Doctrine of Discovery was not mentioned either, but it probably won’t,” MKO said in its statement.

Among the harshest critics of the apology was Murray Sinclair, who chairs TRC.

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Sinclair has said the Pope’s words left a “wormhole” in recognizing the full role of the Catholic Church in running residential schools by highlighting the actions of Christians. individuals, not the church as an organization.

Miller, who traveled to Alberta for the Pope’s visit, said the government would seek more detail into what Pope Francis meant when, in his apology, he said an “inquiry is needed”. serious” about what happened at residential schools.

TRC, in writing its final report, collected testimony from more than 6,000 witnesses over six years.

© 2022 Canadian Press

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