una cultura necesariamente proselitista y etnocida

Pope apologizes to Indigenous people in Canada

Pope Francis apologized for the “evil” inflicted on Indigenous children in Canada as he visited the site of a former church-run residential school.

“I humbly beg forgiveness,” he said to a large crowd of Indigenous people. He spoke at a site in Alberta that is notorious among survivors of abuse, and said his remarks were intended for “every Native community and person.”

Roughly 130 such facilities were gruesome centers of sexual, mental and physical abuse, forced assimilation and cultural devastation for over a century. Thousands died. The schools separated children from parents, erased languages and used Christianity as a weapon to break Indigenous cultures and communities.

Reaction: The pontiff’s apology fulfilled a critical demand of many survivors, who have long called on the Catholic Church to take responsibility for its role in running the abusive institutions. “Today means hope and healing,” one survivor said.

Background: From the 1880s through the 1990s, Canada forcibly removed at least 150,000 ​Indigenous children from their homes and sent ​them t​o the schools. Catholic orders, which have only recently begun to open their archives, were responsible for running 60 percent to 70 percent of the schools.

Analysis: Francis is a critic of proselytizing and colonialism. He said he was “deeply sorry” — a remark that prompted applause and approving shouts — for the ways in which “many Christians supported the colonizing mentality of the powers that oppressed the Indigenous peoples.”

26-VII-22, nytimes