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Statements and News on Truth, Healing and Reconciliation

Canadian Bishops Invite Residential School Survivors, Indigenous Elders, Knowledge Keepers and Youth to meet with Pope Francis in December

OTTAWA, November 10, 2021 – "The Catholic Bishops of Canada are pleased to announce that 25-30 First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Elders, knowledge keepers, residential school survivors, and youth will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican from December 17-20, 2021, accompanied by a small group of Canadian Bishops.

'The journey towards healing and reconciliation is a long one, but we believe this will be a significant milestone in the Catholic Church’s commitment to renewing, strengthening and reconciling relationships with Indigenous Peoples across the land,' said CCCB President, the Most Rev. Raymond Poisson. 'With this delegation, we hope to walk together in a new way, to listen with humility, and to discern the next steps that the Church can take to support residential school survivors, their families, and their communities.' Click here for the full statement from the CCCB.


Canadian Bishops Welcome POpe Francis to Canada on Historic Pilgrimage of Healing and Reconciliation

OTTAWA, October 27, 2021 – "The Catholic Bishops of Canada are grateful that Pope Francis has accepted their invitation to visit Canada on a pilgrimage of healing and reconciliation. The Holy Father’s full statement on the matter can be found here.

In anticipation of this visit, the planned delegation of Indigenous survivors, Elders, knowledge keepers and youth will travel to the Holy See, where they will have the opportunity to speak to Pope Francis about the timing, focus, and themes in preparation for his future pilgrimage to Canada.

'The Bishops of Canada have been engaged in meaningful discussions with Indigenous Peoples, especially those affected by Residential Schools who have shared stories about the suffering and challenges that they continue to experience,' said CCCB President, the Most Rev. Raymond Poisson. 'We pray that Pope Francis’ visit to Canada will be a significant milestone in the journey toward reconciliation and healing.' Click here for the full statement from the CCCB.

 

Canadian Bishops Announce $30M National Financial Pledge to support Healing and Reconciliation Initiatives

OTTAWA, September 27, 2021 – "The Bishops of Canada, as a tangible expression of their commitment to walk with the Indigenous Peoples of this land along the pathway of hope, are making a nation-wide collective financial commitment to support healing and reconciliation initiatives for residential school survivors, their families, and their communities.

With a target of $30 million over up to five years, this will include initiatives in every region of the country. The commitment will be achieved at the local level, with parishes across Canada being encouraged to participate and amplify the effort.

Bishop Raymond Poisson, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), expressed hope that these efforts will support meaningful projects across Canada and make a significant difference in addressing the historical and ongoing trauma caused by the residential school system." Click here for the full statement from the CCCB.


Statement of Apology by the Catholic Bishops of Canada to the indigenous peoples of this land

OTTAWA, September 24, 2021 - "We, the Catholic Bishops of Canada, gathered in Plenary this week, take this opportunity to affirm to you, the Indigenous Peoples of this land, that we acknowledge the suffering experienced in Canada’s Indian Residential Schools. Many Catholic religious communities and dioceses participated in this system, which led to the suppression of Indigenous languages, culture and spirituality, failing to respect the rich history, traditions and wisdom of Indigenous Peoples. We acknowledge the grave abuses that were committed by some members of our Catholic community; physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, cultural, and sexual. We also sorrowfully acknowledge the historical and ongoing trauma and the legacy of suffering and challenges faced by Indigenous Peoples that continue to this day.  Along with those Catholic entities which were directly involved in the operation of the schools and which have already offered their own heartfelt apologies[1], we[2], the Catholic Bishops of Canada, express our profound remorse and apologize unequivocally." Click here for the full statement of apology.