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Pope Francis expresses ‘deep shame’ in Canada, warns of new ‘cancel culture’

Katie Yoder   By Katie Yoder for CNA

Pope Francis meets with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Québec, Canada, on July 27, 2022. (Image: pool VAMP.)

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jul 27, 2022 / 17:04 pm (CNA).

Pope Francis asked for forgiveness for the harm done to indigenous Canadians by Catholics in a Wednesday address before top government officials and representatives of the indigenous peoples in Canada.

“I express my deep shame and sorrow, and, together with the bishops of this country, I renew my request for forgiveness for the wrong done by so many Christians to the indigenous peoples,” the 85-year-old pontiff said, citing the Catholic Church’s role in running many of the country’s government-sponsored residential schools for indigenous children.

These residential schools, in place until the late 1990s, worked to stamp out aspects of native culture, language, and religious practice. Former students have described mistreatment and even abuse at the schools.

Pope Francis condemned the “deplorable system” that “separated many children from their families” in an address before Canada’s governor general, Mary Simon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, civil and religious authorities, representatives of the indigenous peoples, and members of the diplomatic corps in Québec.

During what he has called a “penitential pilgrimage” in Canada, Pope Francis has publicly apologized for the harm done to indigenous Canadians and has repeatedly expressed his shame and sorrow.

“The Christian faith has played an essential role in shaping the highest ideals of Canada, characterized by the desire to build a better country for all its people,” he said Wednesday. “At the same time, it is necessary, in admitting our faults, to work together to accomplish a goal that I know all of you share: to promote the legitimate rights of the native populations and to favor processes of healing and reconciliation between them and the nonindigenous people of the country.”

After meeting with representatives of the indigenous peoples in Rome and, now, in Canada, Pope Francis looked to the future.

“The time we spent together made an impression on me and left a firm desire to respond to the indignation and shame for the sufferings endured by the indigenous peoples,” he said, “and to move forward on a fraternal and patient journey with all Canadians, in accordance with truth and justice, working for healing and reconciliation, and constantly inspired by hope.”

He cautioned against forms of colonization, particularly “ideological colonization,” that he said is practiced today.

“In the past, the colonialist mentality disregarded the concrete life of people and imposed certain predetermined cultural models,” he said, “yet today, too, there are any number of forms of ideological colonization that clash with the reality of life, stifle the natural attachment of peoples to their values, and attempt to uproot their traditions, history, and religious ties.”

He tied this kind of colonization to what he called “cancel culture.”

“This mentality, presumptuously thinking that the dark pages of history have been left behind, becomes open to the ‘cancel culture’ that would judge the past purely on the basis of certain contemporary categories,” he said. “The result is a cultural fashion that levels everything out, makes everything equal, proves intolerant of differences, and concentrates on the present moment, on the needs and rights of individuals, while frequently neglecting their duties with regard to the most weak and vulnerable of our brothers and sisters.”

He identified the vulnerable as the poor, migrants, the elderly, the sick, and the unborn — or “the forgotten ones in ‘affluent societies’” who “are cast aside like dry leaves to be burnt.”

“Instead, the rich multicolored foliage of the maple tree reminds us of the importance of the whole, the importance of developing human communities that are not blandly uniform, but truly open and inclusive,” he said, referencing the tree leaves holding national significance in Canada.

Throughout his speech, he repeatedly drew from the imagery of the maple leaf.

“How much we need to listen to and dialogue with one another, in order to step back from the prevailing individualism, from hasty judgments, widespread aggressiveness and the temptation to divide the world into good people and bad!” he exclaimed at one point. “The large size of the maple leaves, which absorb polluted air and in turn give out oxygen, invite us to marvel at the beauty of creation and to appreciate the wholesome values present in the indigenous cultures.”

He added: “They can inspire us all, and help to heal harmful tendencies to exploitation.”

The pope repeatedly highlighted indigenous Canadians as a model to follow in the care and protection of the family, making the world a better place for future generations, and “recalling the importance of social values.”

“The Catholic Church, with its universal dimension, its concern for the most vulnerable, its rightful service to human life at every moment of its existence, from conception to natural death, is happy to offer its specific contribution,” he added.

The past, he said, should inform the future.

“May the wrongs that were endured by the indigenous peoples serve as a warning to us today, lest concern for the family and its rights be neglected for the sake of greater productivity and individual interests,” he said.

He concluded with a message of unity.

“It is by working in common accord, hand in hand, that today’s pressing challenges must be faced,” he said. “I thank you for your hospitality, attention and respect, and with great affection I assure you that Canada and its people are truly close to my heart.”

Pope Francis’ trip continues Thursday, July 28. He will celebrate Mass at the National Shrine of Saint Anne de Beaupré. Later that day the pope will pray Vespers with bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated persons, seminarians, and pastoral workers at the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

Catholic News Agency is providing live updates throughout his entire trip here.

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  1. Pontiff Francis: apologize for yourself. You do NOT speak on my behalf. I’ll assume the guilt and shame for my own sins; you should do the same. Stop the global posturing.

    • I’m curious. I’ve been waiting ever since the Amazon Synod to see if he would have the gumption to apologize for choosing to suppress discussion (or “dialogue” to use the Vaticanist accepted term) of accompanying the Amazonian people while they bury children alive. Unless of course he finds it too “rigid” to consider even discussing, opps, having a “dialogue” about the possibility that it might not be such a wonderful thing.

    • Oh dear living God thank God, if the Catholic churthe Catholic Church is so so sorry oh sorry for there thousands and thousands of murderous acts, towards the jewels, towards the Canadian Indians, towards towards millions of sex abuse victims of theirs, et cetera et cetera et cetera if the Catholic Church is so so so sorry, then they need to put their money where their mouth is . Rather than having the website ask the public for donations for their religious

  2. The Canadian missionaries evidently did not realize that “the pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom” (See Document on Human Fraternity), and for this, Jorge is deeply sorry.

    • I’d guess that the native peoples didn’t adhere to such views, either. In any case, war and conquest were not introduced by Europeans, the inhabitants in North America were already well pracitced in that regard.

      • Yeah it’s strange, the entire “left” seems utterly oblivious that the nature of humanity, provably, in every place on earth throughout history has been the displacement of some group of persons by others.
        Like the 1619 project, and the truly bizarre notion that somehow that the US has some sort of unique relationship with slavery, above and beyond like every other country on earth, again provably false.
        This is what extreme political indoctrination usually looks like, a provably false narrative with a few fragile roots grounded in truth.

      • It seems utterly pathetic that the the Pope and those who advise him, could be so incredibly ignorant of History; of the North American Martyrs, who endured the most unspeakable tortures to bring the Gospel, schools, hospitals, and yes, civilization to the aboriginal peoples to Canada and throughout the world. As a Jesuit, it’s difficult to believe that, busy with Liberation Theology, the Society of Jesus would disdain its past. And it’s beyond pitiful, more in the realm of shameful, that he and his comrades would be oblivious to the immense sacrifices the Sisters, who came to teach the children, and show them the compassion and love that often times they didn’t receive at home. It’s time to teach men who ostensibly lead our people what the huge gifts of the past were all about, and the tremendous cost demanded.

  3. Pope Francis “cautioned against forms of colonization, particularly ‘ideological colonization,’ that he said is practiced today.”

    Within the Church itself, why are we reminded of Cardinal Paglia’s colonization and hatchet job on the former John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family; and of synodal ringleaders still on track to flip moral theology on its head, as formerly articulated in Veritatis Splendor?

    Both “cast aside like dry leaves to be burnt.”

    The most obvious things about the maple tree are that the branches don’t cut themselves off from the trunk or roots, and that the tree isn’t so “inclusive” as to welcome the fatal infestation or termites.

  4. in November 2020, in these pages of CWR, Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons (a psychiatrist who in 1996 personally reported the “aggressive grooming” of seminarians by then-Bishop McCarrick), stated that the McCarrick Report was stocked with “falsehoods and fabrications,” and that he didn’t trust the Vatican-hired attorney “JL” who interviewed him, because of the “numerous things he had written that were untrue.” Dr. Fitzgibbons requested that the official transcription of his interview with JL be presented to him for verification, and his request was ignored.

    You can read about the falsehoods and deceitful manipulation by the current members of this pontificate and its lawyers, in the link below:

    It would be fitting and appropriate for the Pontiff Francis to make a penitential tour for the wrongs that he has committed.

    It is cheap virtue signalling to “apologize” for the alleged wrongdoing of others.

  5. Embarassing the extent to which the Pope is a shallow follower and imitator of the worst aspects of secular “woke” ideology.

    • The Society of Jesus plainly isn’t what it once was. Loyola must want to haunt such shallow, group which ought to be called SZ now: The Society of the Zeitgeist.

  6. The same Pope who is hellbent on cancelling the TLM and it’s adherents complains about cancel culture. And the same Pope who apologized for acts debunked by historians refuses to apologize for the Pachamama demon idol worship, refuses to apologize to Chinese Catholics for selling them out to the Beijing regime, refuses to apologize for protecting sexual predators like McCarrick, Inzoli, Grassi and Zanchetta, or apologize for smearing their victims.

    Pot, meet kettle.

  7. “The Catholic Church, with its universal dimension, its concern for the most vulnerable, its rightful service to human life at every moment of its existence, from conception to natural death, is happy to offer its specific contribution,” he [Francis] added.

    The past, he [Francis] said, should inform the future. Eliot’s Prufrock would ask: “Do I dare disturb the [his] universe?”

    Francis seems to forget to teach the Church’s mission. It exists to bring the good news of ETERNAL salvation to mankind. Francis restricts, constricts, and misappropriates the Church’s saving power to man’s natural physical vulnerability. Jesus taught ETERNAL salvation and happiness.

    TS Eliot has Prufrock say: “That is not what I meant at all; that is not it, at all.”

    When the words of Christ seem inadequate, Francis could look to Prufrock.

  8. And on the topic of “cancel culture,” while longtime observers of the hypocrisies of “our-ascendant-ecclesial-elitist-caste,” who are so ably and aptly represented by the Pontiff Francis, have likely concluded that these aforementioned may not have a sufficient appreciation of their contributions to irony.

    At the same time, we may yet pray that on the heals of the Pontiff’s ham-fisted pronouncement in his MP entitled by him as “Custodians of Tradition,” by which he most cruelly cancelled-out faithful Catholic people who prefer to worship The Holy Trinity according to the prayers of the Vetus Ordo of the Mass, that in the interest of his welfare, he ought not be standing outdoors under any cloud cover and express warnings to others about cancel culture, lest he “conduct some electricity.”

  9. ‘ In Thy Will , with Thy Love, we are sorrowful and beg pardon -for all the lack of corresppndence of love to the Holy Spirit ..for the rejection of graces ..’

    May the prayers of the Holy Father from his compassionate heart and in the Divine Will , united to The Mother help to bring forth deliverance and healing to the rebellions as cancers that have afflicted hearts and nations world over , generational bondages and its effects , to also undo effects of unholy rituals inviting such agents and its ongoing effects in lives of the living , manifested also as hardness of hearts .. . his blessing for all to look to The Cross , its power as The Precious Blood – may those prayers too bring forth its never ending graces unto all generations as well . !
    FIAT !

  10. Global posturing, according to one commentator, and I could not have said it better. Yet, more than that is the manipulation of history…again…with respect to accountability and numbers. Of course, even one person harmed by a trusted clergyman or religious nun is abhorrent, but, according to one commentary, the Canadian government, at the time, was responsible for placement of these children and the Catholic Church offered its assistance. Also, how many children were actually ill treated. The “roster” of victims seems to have climbed dramatically and with the assumption of cruelty by Catholics. Then, why does any of this which can never be definitively defended, let along determined, justify participation in paganistic rituals? Aside, where was the Papal outcry to the widespread cover up of sexual abuse against primarily male adolescents in recent decades?

  11. Please follow Gabriella’s advice. And please follow 🙏 the Blessed Mother’s advice of forgiving each other and forgetting the past and focus on establishing true peace inside ourselves and in our needy world. We are all created by God. He loves all of us. Let us all reconnect ourselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary and pray for the salvation of all souls 🙏.

  12. The biggest thing is the churches, and I don’t mean JUST the catholic church, taking up collection and soliciting money that goes to a legal defense fund fighting these sex abuse lawsuits and funding appeals of those clergy that were rightly convicted of sexually abusing children in the various courts. Hiding assets from court judgement is another violation. The Diocese of Helena kept back millions, instead of paying living plaintiffs, to preserve funds for future victims, presumably victims-to-be, innocent children who have not yet been born. The racist imperialism, the doctrine that pits people against each other. Drugs trafficking and murder. The standing with the bourgeoisie who exploit and oppress the masses to rake in enormous profit enriching themselves.

  13. The “New” (decode Bergoglio: Novos Ordo Seculorum) Cancel-Culture is visible outside locked Churches celebrating Mass on Make-Shift altars in Chicago. It is Parishes turned out of Churches in Arlington and sent to Gymnasiums – with times and locations unpublishable “by Papal Decree.”

    When Peter is Not Peter, Catholics follow rather Peter: Loyalty and Obedience to the Lord and Sacred Tradition First.

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