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Pope apologizes for ‘catastrophic’ school policy in Canada

By NICOLE WINFIELD and PETER SMITH

MASKWACIS, Alberta (AP) — Pope Francis issued a historic apology Monday for the Catholic Church’s cooperation with Canada’s “catastrophic” policy of Indigenous residential schools, saying the forced assimilation of Native peoples into Christian society destroyed their cultures, severed families and marginalized generations.

“I am deeply sorry,” Francis said to applause from school survivors and Indigenous community members gathered at a former residential school south of Edmonton, Alberta. He called the school policy a “disastrous error” that was incompatible with the Gospel and said further investigation and healing is needed.

“I humbly beg forgiveness for the evil committed by so many Christians against the Indigenous peoples,” Francis said…

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