Pope Francis has agreed to a trip to Canada to help reconciliation efforts with Indigenous peoples following the Catholic church’s notorious role in the residential school system.
According to a brief statement from the Vatican, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has invited the pope to make an apostolic journey to Canada, “also in the context of the long-standing pastoral process of reconciliation with indigenous peoples.”
The Vatican says the pope has indicated “his willingness to visit” Canada on a date to be determined.
Last month, the Canadian bishops’ conference apologized “unequivocally” and expressed “profound remorse” for the suffering experienced in the residential school system.
In the letter, the bishops committed to providing records and documentation that would help identify those buried in unmarked graves.
Earlier this year, Francis agreed to meet in late December with residential school survivors who are calling for a papal apology for the Catholic Church’s role in the abuse and deaths of thousands of children.