On Friday, the Holy See Press Office, an official Vatican body, announced that Pope Francis would be making an “Apostolic Journey” to Canada this summer. His trip, which will keep him in the country from July 24 to 30, will feature stops in three cities: Edmonton, Québec, and Iqaluit.
This will mark the first time the pope — who became the sovereign of the Vatican City State back in 2013 — makes a pastoral visit to Canada.
— Holy See Press Office (@HolySeePress) May 13, 2022
According to Vatican News, the Canadian trip was announced after the pope “accepted invitations from civil and ecclesiastical authorities and local indigenous communities. Over the past few weeks, Pope Francis has held several meetings in the Vatican with several delegations of Canadian indigenous peoples.
- You might also like:
- Pope Francis apologizes to Indigenous delegates for residential schools
- Cities are so unaffordable that young Canadians run deficits: report
- Innovative new program helps revitalize gardening in remote Indigenous communities
Since news of the discovery of mass graves in the Kamloops Indian Residential School broke last year, the pope has publicly apologized to Canada’s Indigenous Peoples on behalf of the Catholic church, which funded residential schools in the 19th and 20th centuries. In March, he held respective meetings with the delegations of Métis, Inuit, and First Nations delegation. A subsequent meeting with all three groups was held in April.
In a recent speech, Francis revealed that he felt “shame” for the injustices committed by the church. “These things are contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said. “For the deplorable conduct of those members of the Catholic Church, I ask for God’s forgiveness, and I want to say to you with all my heart: I am very sorry. And I join my brothers, the Canadian bishops, in asking your pardon.”
The pope is expected to address these issues once again when he visits Edmonton, which holds the second-largest number of Indigenous Peoples living in urban Canadian cities. Alberta opened about 25 residential schools, the most of any province.
His Quebec visit will focus on the town of Ste. Anne-de-Beaupré, one of the oldest pilgrimage sites in North America. Finally, Iqaluit was chosen due to having the highest population of Inuit people in the country.