Papal mass with 50,000 believers – debate about asking for forgiveness

Has the second full day of his “conversion trip” to Canada pope Pope Francis Tuesday (local time) with Mass at Edmonton Stadium. In his sermon, he urged the people to cherish and carry forward the legacy and legacy of their ancestors. At the same time, they themselves had to become craftsmen for a better future. According to local authorities, around 50,000 people attended the service; many came from distant parts of the country as well as from the United States.

“We are children of a history that must be guarded,” said the church leader at Commonwealth Stadium, Canada’s largest outdoor stadium. He also referred to the sense of tradition among the country’s indigenous people and the important coexistence between generations. In former, mostly church-run residential schools, 150,000 children were torn from their families and robbed of their culture, traumatizing generations.

An explicit request for forgiveness towards the indigenous peoples of Canada who spoke on Monday pope not enough in the fair. In addition, the liturgy contained almost no elements of indigenous cultures, which some commentators subsequently criticized. Most of the Eucharistic part of the Mass was spoken in Latin. Edmonton Archbishop Joseph Smith presided over him because of the Pope’s knee problems. In his sermon on the relationship between the generations, he said pope, especially grandparents could often better convey that “love is never a compulsion”. “Let us learn this as individuals and as a church: Let us never oppress the conscience of others, let us never chain the freedom of our counterpart.”

Prime Minister appreciates a plea for forgiveness

Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised the Pope’s plea for forgiveness for tribal people on Monday. At the same time, he emphasized that reconciliation is the responsibility of all Canadians. Trudeau said Monday’s plea for forgiveness was in response to a 2015 request by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The commission identified 95 steps to deal with the historical injustice of the so-called residential schools. One of them requires pope to apologize to survivors, their families and communities for the role of the Roman Catholic Church “in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical and sexual abuse…in Catholic-run boarding schools”.

Following the Pope’s apology for the forced assimilation, leading indigenous representatives of Canada made further demands on the Catholic Church. Elders and victims of Canada’s boarding school system took Francis’ words of regret as sincere, media reports. The question now is what will follow from this. Francis apologized “loud and clear,” according to First Nations Great Chief George Arcand. So far, however, there has been no obligation on the part of the church to return original objects. There is still no access to the church archives to identify perpetrators and victims.

At an afternoon service at a pilgrimage lake, he remembered pope recalled once again the “trauma of violence suffered by our native brothers and sisters”. In a part-prayer speech, he said: “Lord, in this blessed place … we bring you the cacophony of our history, the terrible effects of colonization, the unquenchable pain of so many families, grandparents and children.”

The Liturgy of the Word at Lac Sainte Anne west of Edmonton concluded the second day of the church leader’s “penitential journey” to Canada. The large but relatively shallow lake, named after Saint Anne, the grandmother of Jesus, is the annual destination of thousands of Catholic pilgrims. At the same time, it is a traditional spiritual place for the indigenous people of this region.

Private meeting with the elderly

At the beginning of the devotion pope first talked privately with some elders and then went to the lake shore. From there he made the sign of the cross in all four directions, as is the original tradition, and blessed the lake waters. The rite was accompanied by the sound of drums and about 10,000 worshippers, including many indigenous people who had traveled to the lake.

In his speech he warned pope: With all commitment, all care to heal wounds inflicted by colonization and forced adaptation to European culture, divine help is also needed. For this, people came to the lake to ask Saint Anne for intercession with God. In many cultures, it was precisely mother figures who “help heal the wounds of the heart”. During the conquest of Latin America, for example, the indigenous peoples were only taught the true faith with the Mother of God from Guadalupe in Mexico, he said pope“by speaking their language and wearing their clothes, without using violence or imposing anything on them”.

After what happened in the colonial era and in the boarding schools, Francis said, “we all need healing as a church: healing from the temptation” to close and defend the institution instead of seeking the truth. A theoretical interest in indigenous culture and mere indignation at the injustice of colonial history was not enough for further concrete steps towards reconciliation. On the other hand, it is important to be moved and do something concrete for other people. – He leaves on Wednesday pope from Edmonton to Quebec, the second stop on his six-day journey. (tmg/KNA)

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