Pope Francis apologizes to Indigenous delegates; SNAP reacts

(For Immediate Release April 1, 2022) 


Pope Francis apologizes to Indigenous delegates; SNAP reacts


We are happy our indigenous brothers and sisters across North America received an apology from Pope Francis and hope that meeting with him this week was fruitful. It took a lot of courage for the delegates to carry the pain and suffering all the way to the Vatican. We commend them and truly believe they have made a mark in history.

We honor the abuse survivors, the innocent lives lost, and their families in Canada and everywhere for continuing to speak truth to power against such great odds and in the face of such powerful denial. It is important to note that the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission had previously asked for an apology from the Pope, a request that fell on deaf ears. Sadly, it took the discovery of mass graves, and the realization of murder, rape, and enslavement to trigger a response from the Vatican.  

Given that nearly 100 of the 130 residential schools in Canada were run by the Roman Catholic Church, we fear that more discoveries of pain and horror are yet to be made. The rot of clergy sexual abuse of children runs throughout the Catholic church and affects every country in the world. What we hope now is that governments all around the world see the unimpeachable need for them to investigate and regulate the Catholic church

We admire the brave delegation who stood stoic this week in Rome. We are glad they heard the apology that they deserved, but we also recognize that words of apology are meaningless without action. True apologies are followed by true amends, a concept the church does not seem to be able to grasp. We believe a true apology for the horrors of the residential schools would be full transparency from church officials, not only in Canada but around the globe.

CONTACT: Michael McDonnell, SNAP Communication Manager ([email protected]), 267-261-0578), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009) Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President ([email protected], 814-341-8386)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

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