Vatican News staff writer
The Permanent Council of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) released a statement on Friday noting its support to Bishops of Saskatchewan who are have issued an “Appeal for Support of Healing and Reconciliation” in favor of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada. The project aims to generate fundraising to promote healing and reconciliation. It also foresees cemeteries on the sites of former residential schools, as well as educational and cultural support. The goal of the campaign, according to the Bishops of Saskatchewan, is to "support Indian Residential School survivors and their communities, and to engage more deeply in our own ongoing commitment and response to the Truth and Reconciliation process."
In the statement, the Bishops of Canada express once again how they “are profoundly saddened by the Residential Schools legacy” and they renew their commitment “to working with Indigenous Peoples and communities towards a greater understanding of the priorities of healing and reconciliation and how to address them together.”
The statement notes now Bishops from across the country have communicated their readiness to participate in local and regional fundraising activities, which will be coordinated after further planning and consultations.
The CCB Permanent Council emphasized that “The work of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples is of fundamental importance to our local and national Catholic communities and to all of us as Canadians. By renewing our commitment to work together with them, the Church in Canada pledges solidarity with the Indigenous communities of this land.”
In conclusion, the Council writes, “We lift up our prayers to the Lord for the support and healing of Residential School survivors, their communities, and intergenerational wounds still present.”
Canadians have been shocked by the discovery of more than a 1,000 unmarked graves of indigenous children discovered in the grounds of former residential schools, Catholic and Christian-run institutions funded by the government in the past century. The nation is investigating the matter through a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.