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An open letter to our Member of Parliament, Mr. Will Amos

Mr. Amos: As a parish priest in your riding (Chapeau/St. Joseph's/Sheenboro) I am puzzled and offended by the Prime Minister's recent statement that he would be asking Pope Francis to apologize for the Catholic Church's involvement in the residential schools. Perhaps he is unaware that Pope Benedict XVI issued a formal apology in 2009? Or could it be that he does know this but just couldn't pass up an opportunity to cast the Catholic Church in as poor a light as possible? That is one of the trumpeted 'Quebec values' the preached about during the election, isn't it? The denigration of the Catholic Church and all institutions of faith? Right up there with the killing infants in the womb and old people in the beds? Fear not though sir. I will do my utmost to ensure that as many people as possible in our area are made aware of the fact that either our Prime Minister's staff lacks the competence to appreciate that they are asking for something they have already received, or they are more concerned with insulting the Church to which we all belong and practice in.

In case you doubt that the Pope actually did apologize in 2009, I am including a link at the bottom of this message to a CTV news story of the event.

Fr. Tim Moyle, p.p.



  1. Pope Benedict expressed "sorrow", "sympathy" and "prayerful solidarity" but there has been no apology.

    1. Michael: You are playing with semantics. Read this from the article I linked to and then tell me you don't believe that the Pope didn't intend (and indeed offered) an apology from the entire Roman Catholic Church for their involvement in the residential schools program:

      Archbishop Gerard Pettipas of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, who attended Wednesday's meeting, says it was an important moment.
      Until today, the Church as a whole had never apologized for the abuse that aboriginal students suffered at the hands of Catholic missionary congregations.
      "What we've been trying to do is to bring about healing and reconciliation between the Church, the government of Canada and our First Nations people," he told Canada AM shortly after the meeting.
      "There was a feeling that despite the apologies that were offered by the oblates and some bishops, that the Catholic Church as a whole has not recognized the part that we played.
      "As a gesture of reconciliation... it was important to hear from the one person who does speak for the Catholic Church around the world, to hear him say 'I am sorry. I feel for what you people have suffered. We hope that we can turn the page and move toward a better future together.'"

      Fr. Tim

    2. It's not just semantics, it's substance. One of the Catholic Church's strengths is its teaching of confession. The act of contrition starts out, if memory serves me right, "I am heartily sorry for ..." It doesn't start out "I have sympathy for those I offended.."

      The word apology or sorry was never used. If you can find a text of the statement I will stand corrected. Perhaps Justin Trudeau should let it pass as even the CCCB said there is a technical organizational reason why an apology is not forthcoming ( ) but the government of Canada has apologized and the other four churches involved has apologized (

    3. Michael: Evidently it came in a private meeting in the Vatican with leaders of the aboriginal community, including the then Chief of the AFN, Phil Fontaine who subsequently said: ""The fact that the word 'apology' was not used does not diminish this moment in any way," he said. "This experience gives me great comfort." Fontaine added it was important to note the delegation came to the Vatican at the invitation of Benedict himself. "We never thought for a moment we would be here to be received by the Holy Father to talk about an experience that has caused so much pain and suffering with so many," he said.

      So it seems as if the 'apology' was sufficient for the leaders of Canada's aboriginal communities when it was offered. How come it's insufficient now in the eyes of our Prime Minister?

      Fr. Tim

    4. A little more from Mr. Fontaine: Following the meeting, Fontaine, who is also a residential school survivor, called the Pope's words a "very significant statement." While he said it did not amount to an official apology, Fontaine told CBC News he hoped the expression of regret would "close the book" on the issue of apologies for residential school survivors."

    5. I read that. I think Mr. Trudeau should probably take his cue from Mr. Fontaine and let it be. But if the other churches and the government of Canada can do it, it might be a wise move. If this pope visits Canada he might issue one.

  2. Replies
    1. Hello Diane. This is Rationalist1 from the NP saying hello and wishing you the best of the season.

    2. Michael: I didn't know you were Rationalist!! Thank you very much for continuing to comment here on my blog. I thought you were someone else so I haven't been engaging you in discussing your comments. I will mend my ways in the new year!

      Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

      Fr. Tim

    3. I am heartily sorry. I thought you did. I was sure I decloaked on your site some time ago.

      Not a problem. Merry Christmas to you as well.


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