The Pope goes to Canada, which – as he called it – will be his “penitential pilgrimage”. Francis explained that during the meeting he would meet with representatives of the indigenous peoples as part of reconciliation over the scandal over decades of compulsory boarding schools for indigenous children.
During the meeting at the noon prayer, the Angelus, the Pope addressed a special message to all residents Canada.
– Dear Canadian brothers and sisters. As you know, I will come to you, first of all, to meet and embrace the indigenous people in the name of Jesus. Unfortunately, in Canada, many Christians, including some members of religious institutes, have contributed to a policy of cultural assimilation that has, in the past, caused severe damage to indigenous communities in various ways, ‘he said.
Francis then recalled that this is why he had recently received St. Vatican “certain groups of representatives of indigenous peoples” to whom, he mentioned, “he expressed his pain and solidarity over the evil they suffered”.
– Now I will go on a penitential pilgrimage, which I hope, with God’s grace, will be able to contribute to the path of recovery and reconciliation already undertaken – he added, thanking for the work in preparation for his visit. – I am asking you to accompany me with prayer – he appealed. The pilgrimage will begin on July 24.
Francis also expressed his closeness to the population again Sri Lankawhere there is a severe political and economic crisis, and the current one the president resigned after fleeing the country under the pressure of social protests. He also asked for a peaceful solution to the crisis to be sought, especially in the interests of the poorest, for dialogue for the common good and for the renunciation of all violence.
In the reflections preceding the prayer, he encouraged the use of vacation time to “stop and listen to Jesus”, because this, he explained, could guide action. “We often start the day automatically, like chickens,” he noted.
– Today it is more and more difficult to find a free moment for meditation. For many people, the work rhythm is hectic and exhausting. The time of summer can also be valuable to open the Gospel and read slowly, without haste, the Pope explained.
Main photo source: EPA / VATICAN MEDIA HANDOUT