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Pope to hold two meetings with Indigenous groups as his six-day tour comes to an end

Some have said his apologies did not go far enough
Pope Francis presides over an evening prayer service at the Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Quebec in Quebec City during his papal visit on Thursday, July 28, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Pope Francis is set to end his six-day tour of Canada that he has called a pilgrimage of penance with meetings in Quebec City and Iqaluit.

The pontiff is scheduled to begin the day with private meetings at the Archbishop of Quebec’s residence and then is expected to speak with a delegation of Indigenous Peoples.

Later in the day, Francis is to travel to Iqaluit where he will take part in private meetings with residential school survivors.

There will also be an outdoor meeting with young people and elders before travelling back home to the Vatican.

During the tour, including stops in Alberta, the pontiff apologized for the role Roman Catholic institutions played in the residential school system.

Some have said his apologies did not go far enough because he failed to make it clear that the Catholic Church, not just a few bad people, was responsible for residential school abuses.

Critics have also said he should have rescinded the Doctrine of Discovery — dating back to the 15th century — that justified the colonization of North America.

During an evening prayer service Thursday, Francis acknowledged sexual abuse inflicted on “minors and vulnerable people,” but he did not specifically say sexual abuse happened at residential schools.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 29, 2022.

The Canadian Press