I follow with sorrow the news coming from Canada about the shocking discovery of the remains of two hundred and fifteen children, pupils of Kamloops Indian Residential School, in the Province of British Columbia. I join the Canadian Bishops and the whole Catholic Church in Canada in expressing my sympathy to the Canadian people, who have been traumatized by the shocking news. The sad discovery further heightens our awareness of the pain and suffering of the past. May Canada’s political and religious authorities continue to work together with determination to shed light on this sad event and humbly commit themselves to a path of reconciliation and healing. These difficult times are a strong call for all to turn away from the colonizing model and walk side by side in dialogue, mutual respect and recognition of the rights and cultural values of all the daughters and sons of Canada. We commend to the Lord the souls of all the children who have died in Canada’s residential schools, and we pray for the grief-stricken native Canadian families and communities. Let us pray in silence.
-Pope Francis, to the crowds in St. Peter’s Square, June 6, 2021. Taken from the Vatican website and translated electronically from Italian.