Archbishop of Canterbury apologizes for 'terrible crimes' at Canadian Indigenous boarding schools

On Saturday April 30, visiting the province of Saskatchewan in Canada, the leader of the Anglican Church, Justin Welby, apologized for the violence perpetrated for decades in residential schools for natives run by the church.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, traveled to Canada on Saturday April 30 to meet survivors and their indigenous descendants who suffered abuse in residential schools run by Christian organizations.

In particular, he met with members of the James Smith Indigenous Governments and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) who shared their stories with him.

according to CBC Canada, many of them said they blamed not the church, but those who acted on its behalf.

After listening to them, the leader of the Anglican Church apologized to them for the “terrible crimes” perpetrated by the church.

" I'm sorry. I'm more sorry than I can say,” Justin Welby said.

" I am ashamed. I am horrified. I wonder where this evil comes from. It has nothing, nothing to do with Christ. »

“It is the lowest, meanest and most terrible thing to assault a child while you are reading the Bible to him,” the Archbishop continued.

He also thanked the survivors for their benevolence towards the church, while insisting that it was the institution that allowed these situations to happen and “turned a blind eye” to abusive behavior. .

“The grace that you showed by saying it wasn't the church that did this – I guess that's extraordinary grace. I guess I mean that's maybe the only thing I question. That the church didn't do it. But it was the church that allowed it. Who allowed it. Who closed his eyes to it. And still does, sometimes. »

Le Journal of Montreal reveals that the apology comes after Saskatchewan First Nation Chief George Gordon announced last week the discovery of 14 unmarked graves near a former boarder run by the Anglican Church from 1820 to 1969.

In the twentieth century, more than 150 First Nations children were taken from their families and interned in establishments run by Catholic, Protestant and Anglican organizations to "educate, evangelize and assimilate indigenous children".

Friday, April 1, Pope Francis also apologized for the role played by the Catholic Church in these dramas during an audience at the Vatican before Métis, Inuit and First Nations delegations.

"I ask forgiveness from God for the deplorable behavior of these members of the Catholic Church", declared the sovereign pontiff who expressed the wish to go to the country at the end of July.

Camille Westphal Perrier

Image credit: Shutterstock / Elena Berd

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