Catholic Bishops Commit $ 30 Million “Target” to Help Residential School Survivors

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The pledge comes days after the church issued an apology and pledge to “educate the clergy”

Shortly before the first-ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Canada’s Catholic Bishops pledged to achieve a $ 30 million funding “goal” to address residential school trauma.

Bishop Raymond Poisson, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a press release “that there was a universal consensus that Catholic entities must do more in a tangible way to remedy the suffering they have experienced.”

The money will go to locally-run church-run initiatives in “every region” of the country and will include First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations, the statement said.

Bishop William McGrattan, vice-president of the organization, said it was important “not to talk about indigenous peoples without talking to them,” in the statement.

Local leadership will be a key element in deciding which programs are best to fund, he said.

More detailed deadlines and a strategy are in the works for November, the statement said.

Last week, the Catholic bishops of Canada issued a national apology and acknowledged the involvement of the Catholic Church in the residential schools.

“Many religious communities and Catholic dioceses have participated in this system, which has led to the suppression of indigenous languages, culture and spirituality, without respecting the rich history, traditions and wisdom of indigenous peoples”, a- he declared.

“We recognize the serious abuses that have been committed by some members of our Catholic community [including] physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, cultural and sexual.

One of the commitments listed in the apology is to “educate the clergy”.

A group of indigenous survivors, elders and youth will meet with Pope Francis in Rome in December to determine how to support a renewed relationship with indigenous peoples, the apology says.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls for an apology from the Pope on Canadian soil.

In recent months, the Catholic Church has come under fire for failing to raise pledged funds for residential school survivors.

For example, over the summer, CBC News discovered that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatchewan’s capital had given only $ 34,650 to residential school survivors while spending over $ 28 million on a new cathedral. .

Across Canada, only $ 4 million was donated after $ 25 million was pledged by the church in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

CBC News found that the organization was able to find a legal loophole to prevent them from having to pay.


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