OTTAWA, Ontario – The Roman Catholic Church says Pope Francis will not apologize to Canadian residential school survivors who were taken from their families and put in government schools where they were forced to convert to Christianity.
Some 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Metis children were taken from their families over much of the last century and put in schools, where they were also not allowed to speak their native languages. Many were abused, and up to 6,000 are said to have died.
Bishop Lionel Gendron of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said Wednesday in a letter that Francis has not shied away from acknowledging injustices faced by indigenous peoples, but that he can't personally issue an apology for residential schools in Canada.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had asked him to apologize.