Canada's Trudeau blasts Catholic Church for ignoring role in indigenous schools

Canada's Trudeau blasts Catholic Church for ignoring role in indigenous schools

The Catholic Church must take responsibility for its role in running many of Canada's residential schools for indigenous children, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday, after the discovery of the remains of 215 children at one former school last month.

Trudeau called on the church to "step up" and take responsibility after years of silence.

"It's something we are all still waiting for the Catholic Church to do", he said.

Investigations and reports had "consistently shown there have been many personal failures and administrative mistakes but also institutional or "systemic" failure", added Marx, who was president of the German Bishops' Conference from 2012 to 2020.

The Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, has refused to resign despite a report criticised his handling of allegations of past clerical abuse.

Casimir said her nation wants a public apology from the Catholic Church. Trudeau said many are "wondering why the Catholic Church in Canada is silent, is not stepping up".

"The Catholic Church ran most of the schools but devoted few of its own resources to them beyond personnel paid for by the government", Wiseman said.

In Kamloops, Tk̓emlups te Secwepemc chief Rosanne Casimir, who has enlisted the help of the British Columbia coroner to help identify students' remains and causes of deaths, told reporters the tribe had never received any records from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate who ran the school.

The United, Presbyterian and Anglican churches already have apologised for their roles in the abuse, as has the Canadian government, which has offered compensation.

Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto, said that in his rebuke, Trudeau didn't point out that residential schools were created and funded by the government.

On Wednesday, Vancouver Archbishop J Michael Miller said on Twitter "the Church was unquestionably wrong" and his archdiocese would be transparent with its archives and records regarding residential schools.

"With my resignation, I would like to make clear that I am willing to personally bear responsibility not only for any mistakes I might have made but for the Church as an institution which I have helped to shape and mould over the past decades".

"We urge the authorities to conduct full-fledged investigations into the circumstances and responsibilities surrounding these deaths, including forensic examinations of the remains found, and to proceed to the identification and registration of the missing children", the United Nations said in a statement.

"It is inconceivable that Canada and the Holy See would leave such heinous crimes unaccounted for and without full redress", they said in a statement.

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