Trudeau to raise res­i­den­tial school apol­ogy with the Pope

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - JOANNA SMITH

ROME — Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau plans to raise rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with in­dige­nous peo­ples, the global fight against cli­mate change and the im­por­tance of re­li­gious and cul­tural di­ver­sity when he meets with Pope Fran­cis at the Vat­i­can on Mon­day.

There, he will also ask the pon­tiff to is­sue a for­mal apol­ogy in Canada for the role of the Catholic Church in the res­i­den­tial school sys­tem.

The Truth and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Com­mis­sion in­cluded the de­mand for a pa­pal apol­ogy among the 94 rec­om­men­da­tions in its re­port on the dark his­tory and legacy of res­i­den­tial schools. The Lib­eral gov­ern­ment has promised to act on all of them.

In 2009, the pre­vi­ous pope, Bene­dict XVI, did ex­press “sor­row” on be­half of the Catholic Church for the “de­plorable con­duct” by some mem­bers of the church in their treat­ment of in­dige­nous chil­dren in res­i­den­tial schools.

Trudeau, who is re­li­gious, is also ex­pected to dis­cuss the Catholic com­mu­nity in Canada.

Trudeau, in Rome this week fol­low­ing his par­tic­i­pa­tion at the NATO and G7 sum­mits, wants to pro­mote trade and other ties with Italy, in­clud­ing the Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic and Trade Agree­ment (CETA) be­tween Canada and the Euro­pean Union.

Mon­day morn­ing, the prime min­is­ter will part in an event with the soc­cer team, A.S. Roma.

On Sun­day, Trudeau ap­pealed to the heart of the coun­try by vis­it­ing Ama­trice, a tiny town still strug­gling to re­cover from a dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake.

“It’s an op­por­tu­nity to share our thoughts, our con­do­lences, our sym­pa­thies, but also demon­strate our re­solve to ac­com­pany our friends in this dif­fi­cult time,” Trudeau said Sun­day as he stood be­low a clock tower, the only struc­ture stand­ing on a street lined with rub­ble.

That clock is stopped at 3:36 — the time in the morn­ing the 6.2-mag­ni­tude quake hit the area in cen­tral Italy about 100 kilo­me­tres north­east of Rome on Aug. 24, 2016. Some 300 peo­ple were killed, in­clud­ing one Cana­dian.

Many of them were chil­dren, and signs of their pres­ence, in­clud­ing an il­lus­trated cloth book and an in­flat­able pool toy, could be seen among the rocks, dust and other rub­ble piled high.

Ef­forts to re­build the town, which in­cludes many her­itage build­ings from me­dieval times, have been mov­ing slowly.

The prime min­is­ter ar­rived in the town via an Ital­ian gov­ern­ment heli­copter and he was greeted warmly with a long em­brace by the lo­cal mayor, Ser­gio Pirozzi.

In Ama­trice, Trudeau sur­veyed the dam­age and spoke to res­i­dents, emer­gency re­spon­ders and oth­ers work­ing to re­build the town.

He also laid a bou­quet of flow­ers at a memo­rial to the vic­tims.


Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau, in blue hard hat, takes a tour on Sun­day of Ama­trice, the cen­tral Ital­ian town turned to rub­ble by an earth­quake last year that killed nearly 300 peo­ple.

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