CBC News
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he would ask Pope Francis, who celebrates his 79th birthday on December 17, to formally apologize for the residential schools program that saw 150,000 or more children torn from their families, cultures and identities over a 150-year period to "kill the Indian in the child."

Video: Trudeau Promises to Ask Pope Francis for Residential Schools Apology


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's recommendation that Pope Francis apologize for the residential schools. The pontiff has already done so, in general, to Indigenous Peoples for colonialism.

RELATED: Pope Francis Apologizes to Indigenous Peoples for ‘Grave Sins’ of Colonialism

Trudeau was visibly moved as he accepted the six-volume final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) on December 15.

RELATED: Final Truth and Reconciliation Report Draws Action Promises from Tearful Trudeau

The Prime Minister was not able to promise he would meet with the Pope, only that he would try. But he was pretty definitive about that, saying he would seek an audience with the Pontiff, according to CBC News.

RELATED: Pope Francis Apology Prompts Calls for Direct Address to School Survivors in Canada

"Different churches, including the Catholic Church, are very much engaged with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and I am certainly intending to work with the Catholic Church, including with the Holy See, to move forward with implementing that recommendation—to ask him directly to engage with this issue, yes," said after a meeting with indigenous organizations to discuss the TRC report.

Other church denominations have issued apologies about the schools, and some have retracted support of the Doctrine of Discovery, the papal document that gave tacit permission for European colonialists to impose their worldview on Indigenous Peoples.

Watch the Prime Minister talk about the Pope, whose birthday happens to be today, December 17, below.

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