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Sunday October 2, 2022
Friday September 30 was Orange Shirt Day, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Forty years ago, such an event would have been unthinkable.
And then, in March 1985, a woman named Alberta Billie did the unthinkable. She told a meeting of the United Church of Canada’s Executive that the church should apologize for its role in running “Indian” residential schools.
A little more than a year later, on August 15, 1986, the church’s moderator, the Rev. Bob Smith, led the church in Canada’s first-ever apology to Canada’s indigenous peoples.
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: United Church of Canada, apology, Indian, Sudbury, consensus
Sunday April 10, 2022
The world changed last Friday. Pope Francis asked Canada’s indigenous peoples to forgive his church.
Indigenous leaders have kept the residential school issue before the public. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission headed by Justice Murray Sinclair heard more than 6,500 testimonies from survivors. Ground-seeking radar identified close to a thousand bodies buried in unmarked graves on lands around those schools. Court cases documented physical and sexual abuse.
So we were kept well informed about the need for an apology.
But we have not heard how – or if – theological understandings have been changing in the Vatican.
And that, to my mind, is the overlooked news from the papal apology.
Tags: Pope Francis, apology, confession