Pope lands in Canada, set for penitential pilgrimage to apologize to Indigenous peoples

Pope Francis arrived in Edmonton, Alberta, Sunday 24 July 2022  to begin his six-day penitential pilgrimage in Canada. During his cross-country journey, the 85-year-old pope is expected to meet with and apologize to indigenous Canadians for abuses committed at Church-run residential schools.


Pope Francis flew from Rome to Edmonton, Alberta, where his welcoming party included Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mary May Simon, an Inuk who is Canada’s first Indigenous governor-general. Francis had no official events scheduled for Sunday, giving him time to rest before his meeting Monday with survivors near the site of a former residential school in Maskwacis, where he is expected to deliver an apology.

Pope Francis, in a wheelchair, exited the back of his plane with the help of an ambulift before being driven in a compact white Fiat to an airport hangar where he was greeted by Trudeau, Simon, and other dignitaries.

Indigenous drums and chanting broke the silence as the welcome ceremony began. A succession of Indigenous leaders and elders greeted the pope and exchanged gifts.

After the airport welcome, Francis was slated to travel by motorcade to St. Joseph Seminary in Edmonton, where he will be staying.

Aboard the papal plane, Francis told reporters this was a “penitential voyage” and he urged prayers in particular for elderly people and grandparents.

Pope Francis’ week-long trip — which will take him to Edmonton; Quebec City and finally Iqaluit, Nunavut, in the far north — follows meetings he held in the spring at the Vatican with delegations from the First Nations, Metis and Inuit. Those meetings culminated with a historic April 1 apology for the “deplorable” abuses committed by some Catholic missionaries in residential schools.

More by Gaudium Press  Canadian Bishops Reject Euthanasia, Discuss Indigenous Fund and Synod

(Via AP and Crux Now)
Compiled by Raju Hasmukh

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