Thursday, May 03, 2018

Canada's House of Commons Calls on Pope and Church To Respond To Residential Schools Settlement

On Tuesday, Canada's House of Commons by a vote of 269-10 called on the Catholic Church and Pope Francis to respond to recommendations in the 2015 Report of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  The Commission was created as part of a settlement of lawsuits exposing abuses by the Residential School System which had operated for decades in Canada and had separated Aboriginal children from their families. CTV News reports on this week's action in Parliament:
Among the 94 calls to action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was a request for an apology -- to be delivered in Canada by the pontiff himself -- for the church's role in the residential school abuse of First Nations, Inuit and Metis children. An estimated 150,000 of children were forced to attend the schools, many of which were operated by the Roman Catholic Church.
But in March, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said that while the Pope acknowledged the commission's findings and expressed regret for past wrongs, he "felt he could not personally respond."
The Pope's decision pushed NDP MPs to launch the motion soon after, which also calls on the Catholic Church to pay money owed to residential school survivors and to turn over relevant documentation regarding the government-sponsored schools.
The House of Commons Journals for May 1 sets out the full text of the Motion and details of those voting on it [scroll down].