Pope Arrives at Quebec International Airport

Pope Francis meets with officials as he arrives at Quebec International Airport, July 27, 2022.

The pope's trip to Canada is centered upon apologizing for the Catholic Church's role in residential schools that tried to erase native cultures.

Francis is expected to repeat his frequent appeals to younger generations to cherish their elders and learn from them, a custom still revered in indigenous communities but waning in many Western societies.

The pope issued a historic apology, calling the Church's role in schools and the forced cultural assimilation they attempted a "deplorable evil" and "disastrous error."

More than 150,000 indigenous children were separated from their families and brought to residential schools. Many were starved, beaten for speaking their native languages and sexually abused in a system that Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission called "cultural genocide."

Indigenous leaders, as well as survivors of the schools, said that while the pope's apology evoked strong emotions and was a highly significant step toward reconciliation, more action needed to be taken by the Church and the government.

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