Pope Francis arrives in Canada on Sunday, marking the first papal visit to the country in 20 years. He is expected to apologize for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the dorm system, a personal follow-up to his historic apology in April.
The Pope will be joined by Cardinal Michael Czerny, who will take part in his first papal tour. The Canadian was made a cardinal by Pope Francis just two years ago.
Before leaving for his visit, Czerny sat down for an exclusive interview with CTV National News to discuss what he expects from the trip.
“It’s always important to include not just redeeming the past, but also forging a new future. And that’s what I think makes this so important,” Czerny told CTV National News Manitoba Bureau Chief Jill Macyshon in Vatican City.
“It’s not primarily about the past, but primarily about the future.”
Czerny said he expects the pope’s visit to lead to a “sincere and respectful dialogue” that could eventually lead to a “partnership” between the Roman Catholic Church and indigenous communities in Canada.
An estimated 150,000 First Nations, Metis and Inuit children have been educated in boarding schools in Canada for over a century. The Catholic Church led about 60 percent of the institutions. The last boarding school closed in 1996.
Czerny said what the reconciliation will look like “remains to be seen”.
“What reconciliation would look like depends very much on the indigenous peoples of Canada, in this specific case the church, but in general on all faith communities and the entire Canadian population,” Czerny said.
Watch the exclusive interview with Cardinal Michael Czerny at the top of the article.
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