Pope Francis said he is very sorry during the historic Final Audience between Pope Francis and all the Indigenous delegates:
I also feel shame … sorrow and shame for the role that a number of Catholics, particularly those with educational responsibilities, have had in all these things that wounded you, and the abuses you suffered and the lack of respect shown for your identity, your culture and even your spiritual values.
For the deplorable conduct of these members of the Catholic Church, I ask for God’s forgiveness and I want to say to you with all my heart, I am very sorry. And I join my brothers, the Canadian bishops, in asking your pardon.”
His Holiness said it is his hope to visit Canada “soon” and possibly “in the days” around the Feast of St. Anne, which is on July 26.
Chief Dr. Willie Littlechild – “I am overwhelmed emotionally”, reaction to Pope Francis’ apology:
Métis delegate and elder Angie Crerar’s final briefing message and prayer:
“Now we’re brothers, sisters.” Archbishop Smith recaps Indigenous visit to Rome:
FULL MEDIA BRIEFING FOLLOWING THE FINAL PAPAL AUDIENCE:
Father Susai from Edmonton’s local Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples (declared the National Catholic Parish for Indigenous Catholics) accompanied the delegations. He was able to personally present Pope Francis with the gift of an orange sash after the encounter: