・カナダの司教団が、先住民の寄宿学校での重大な虐待を公式に謝罪(VN)

A family stands in front of the former Kamloops Indian Residential SchoolA family stands in front of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School  (AFP or licensors)

(2021.9.25 Vatican News By Devin Watkins)

  カナダで、かつて先住民の子供たちを収容していたカトリック教会運営の寄宿学校で虐待が繰り返されたうえ、大勢の死者が墓碑もなく埋葬されていたことが、同国の先住民グループの告発で明らかになり、社会的問題になっているが、カナダの司教団は25日までに、先住民のコミュニティに対して公式に謝罪、近く予定するいるFirst Nations (カナダの先住民の組織)の代表たちと教皇フランシスコが重要な意味を持つことを強調した。

 この問題について、カナダの司教たちは24日の秋の司教協議会定例総会で、「重大な虐待」がカトリック教会共同体の一部によって行われたことを認める声明を満場一致で承認。「深い痛恨」の意を表明し、「明白に」謝罪した。

 24日に発表された声明の中で、カトリック教会が運営を任されていた寄宿学校で「身体的、心理的、感情的、精神的、文化的、そして性的」な虐待が行われていたことを認め、さらに、「多くのカトリック教会共同体と教区がこの活動に参加し、先住民の言語、文化、精神性を抑圧し、先住民の豊かな歴史、伝統、知恵を尊重しようとしなかった」と謝罪。また、被害者たちが受けた「歴史的で継続的なトラウマ」は、今日まで続いている、との認識も示した。

以下、翻訳中

First formal apology

Bishop Raymond Poisson of Saint-Jérôme and Mont-Laurier dioceses spoke to Vatican News’ Marine Henriot about the apology.

The Bishop, who was just elected as the president of the Canadian Bishops’ Conference, commented on the importance of the apology.

“This is the first time that, officially, all the Bishops of Canada have unanimously made an apology,” said Bishop Poisson.

He added that the Church in Canada is made up of around 65 dioceses, which belies the importance of their agreeing with one voice to issue such an apology. “Every Bishop voted for this apology,” he said.

Cardinal Gerald Lacroix, the Archbishop of Quebec, tweeted his support for the apology, and said Canada’s Bishops are committed to reconciliation and healing for indigenous peoples.

Listen to the full interview

Meeting with the ‘chief’ of the Church

In their statement, Canada’s Bishops recalled that Pope Francis has scheduled a meeting with survivors of the residential schools, several First Nations (as indigenous communities are known in Canada) elders, and young indigenous people. The encounter will take place in the Vatican on 17-20 December 2021.

“Pope Francis will encounter and listen to the Indigenous participants, so as to discern how he can support our common desire to renew relationships and walk together along the path of hope in the coming years,” wrote the Bishops.

Though the Church is largely decentralized, Bishop Poisson said indigenous peoples in Canada view the Pope through their own cultural lens as a sort of “chief”.

“In the First Nations culture, the Pope is the ‘chief’ of the Church, just like the First Nations have a chief,” he said, adding that the encounter is meant to be primarily pastoral, rather than political.

Canada’s Bishops also expressed their commitment to the process of healing and reconciliation, and pledged to fundraise to support pastoral initiatives “discerned locally with Indigenous partners.”

They also invited First Nations peoples to “journey with us into a new era of reconciliation,” which includes prioritizing healing initiatives and educating Catholic clergy and lay faithful on indigenous cultures and spirituality.

“We commit ourselves to continue the work of providing documentation or records that will assist in the memorialization of those buried in unmarked graves,” read the Bishops’ statement.

Symptomatic of a deeper problem

Commenting on the healing process, Bishop Poisson admitted much has yet to be done, but said the formal apology is “the first step in the process.”

He lamented the painful history of the Church’s involvement in Indian Residential Schools.

“These schools,” said Bishop Poisson, “are symptomatic of what happens when civilizations refuse to understand one another, and just want to turn the other into the same thing that he is, and make the other disappear.”

The Quebecois Bishop said the Church seeks to create a new relationship with Canada’s First Nations peoples, one based on mutual trust and understanding.

“We want to be together to decide the mode of education, listening to one another, walking together, and sharing our experiences, cultures, languages, and historical roots,” he said. “It is possible for us to be the real people of God. That is what they want and what we want: animated by the same Spirit but with different cultures.”

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2021年9月26日