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Pope voices sorrow over Canadian deaths, doesn't apologize

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Trudeau

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission report on Canada's residential school system detailed the mistreatment of Indigenous children at the government-funded, Catholic Church run schools where at least 4,100 children were reported dead.

"As a Catholic, I am deeply disappointed by the position the Catholic Church has taken now and over the past many years", Trudeau told reporters.

People watch as a convoy of truckers and other vehicles travel in front of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in support of the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc people after the remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the facility, in Kamloops, Canada, on June 5, 2021.

Remains of 215 children were found at Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia last month.

The Kamloops school operated between 1890 and 1969, when the federal government took over operations from the Catholic Church and ran it as a day school until it closed in 1978. The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, which ran almost half of Canada's residential schools, has yet to release any records about the Kamloops school, she also said.

"We do want an apology" from the Catholic Church, Casimir said.

In 2008, the Canadian government formally apologized for the system.

"As we ring our bells, perhaps as many as 215 times in honour of each child, we do so with our advocacy and prayers for truth, justice, healing and reconciliation", said the Church of the Epiphany on its Facebook page.

He added: "Before we have to start taking the Catholic Church to court, I am very hopeful that religious leaders will understand this is something they need to participate in and not hide from".

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops announced in 2018 that the Pope could not personally apologize for residential schools, even though he has not shied away from recognizing injustices faced by Indigenous people around the world.

Investigators said they found evidence of widespread cultural genocide inside the institutions that separated Indigenous children from their families.

"Large scale human rights violations have been committed against children belonging to indigenous communities, it is inconceivable that Canada and the Holy See would leave such heinous crimes unaccounted for and without full redress", the United Nations added.

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