Canada: In Quebec, the Pope comes up against the great expectations of the Aboriginal people

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  Au Québec, le pape se heurte aux grandes attentes des autochtones © AFP

L E PAPE Francis was confronted on Thursday in Quebec with a brief dispute and mentioned the question of "sexual abuses" for the first time on his trip In Canada, during which he invited to refound the relations of the Church with Aboriginal peoples.

In the morning, shortly before the start of the reconciliation mass, in Sainte-Anne de Beaupré, two Aboriginals deployed a banner on which we could read: "Revee the doctrine", in front of the altar and a few meters from François .

Beyond the excuses pronounced by the Pope at the beginning of the week and which were expected by many Aboriginals, some indeed ask the Pope to go further and in particular to repeal papal decrees at the origin of the "doctrine discovery ".

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This refers to the papal edicts of the 15th century which authorized the European powers to colonize the land and the non-Christian peoples.

The inscription was however present only on the side of the banner opposed to the Pope, and it was calmly withdrawn shortly after to be placed outside.

In the afternoon, in front of religious leaders, the sovereign pontiff called for an "irreversible fight" against "sexual abuse committed against minors and vulnerable people" without specifically evoking those committed in the residential school year for Aboriginal people.

"I would like, with you, to ask all the victims again. The pain and the shame that we feel must become an opportunity for conversion: never again!", He said during a speech before Bishops, priests and religious representatives at Notre-Dame de Québec cathedral.

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Portraits of disappeared

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for Des Negues Petiquay, 54, who carries around the neck an orange scarf in Tribute to the missing Aboriginal children, this visit is "a message of hope". She got up at 4:00 am to arrive early and be at the forefront in front of the church, where giant screens were arranged.

"This pope knows that we exist here, he recognizes us. I read his biography, for me it's a good pope. Yesterday, I saw him closely, it touched me here", said -Iture by putting your hand on the heart.

According to the Diocese of Quebec, 70% of tickets distributed free of charge to attend the event were reserved for indigenous communities (First Nations, Métis and Inuit), to which the Pope has renewed his request for forgiveness for the drama of children's residential school years Between the end of the 19th century and the 1990s.

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among the faithful, some held in their hands a photo of a disappeared loved one. Many wore orange clothes, symbol of the suffering of natives.

"It was not enough," said Abigail Brooks, 23, a member of Saint Mary's First Nation of the Province of New Brunswick. She hopes for other actions to show that the Church wishes real reconciliation.


Wednesday, before the authorities, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, François had renewed his apologies for evil made to the natives by "many Christians", especially in the residential schoolia put in place by the governments of the time for " Kill the Indian in the child's heart ".

Many of them have undergone physical or sexual abuses, and thousands have never returned, victims of illness, malnutrition or negligence.

If the French -speaking province of Quebec has the largest number of Catholics in Canada, the crowds have been lower than expectations since the start of the visit, in a context of a loss of speed.

In front of religious representatives Thursday afternoon, Jorge Bergoglio also mentioned the "challenge" of "secularization", "which has long transformed the way of life of women and men today, leaving God almost in the background ".

Friday, the 85 -year -old pope, who moves in a wheelchair due to knee pain, will meet Jesuits and then a delegation of natives in Quebec before flying to Iqaluit (Nunavut), in the Arctic Archipelago.

During this stage of a few hours, the last of his trip, he will meet former Aboriginal residents in a school, before leaving for Rome.

07/29/2022 01:55:11-Quebec (AFP)-© 2022 AFP

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