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Sun Jul 31, 2022, 12:33 PM

Pope says genocide took place at Canada's residential schools [View all]

Pontiff concludes 'penitential pilgrimage' of reconciliation between Catholic Church and Indigenous people

While the word genocide wasn't heard in any of Pope Francis's addresses during a week-long trip to Canada, on his flight back to Rome, he said everything he described about the residential school system and its forced assimilation of Indigenous children amounts to genocide.

"I didn't use the word genocide because it didn't come to mind but I described genocide," Pope Francis told reporters on the papal flight from Iqaluit to Rome on Friday.


Since 2021, when the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves at former residential school sites waved across the news, many are calling what had transpired more than cultural genocide. Last year, NDP member of Parliament Leah Gazan made a failed bid for Parliament to recognize the residential school experience as genocide, as she believes it meets the definition of genocide drafted by the United Nations.

The United Nations defines the term as a number of acts committed with the "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national ethnical, racial or religious group" such as killing members, inflicting bodily or mental harm to members, deliberate physical destruction in whole or in part, imposing measures intending to prevent births within a group, or forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.


"Yes, it's a technical word, genocide. I didn't use it because it didn't come to mind. But yes, I described it. Yes, it's a genocide."



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Reply Pope says genocide took place at Canada's residential schools [View all]
Spazito Jul 2022 OP
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