Cardinal Thomas Collins delivers at online Good Friday service in an empty St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto on April 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Cardinal Thomas Collins delivers at online Good Friday service in an empty St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto on April 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Trudeau’s comments ‘unfair’ about Church and residential schools: Toronto archbishop

Cardinal Thomas Collins said the remarks schools were ‘unhelpful’ and ‘not based on real facts’

The Roman Catholic archbishop of Toronto took aim at Justin Trudeau this morning following comments from the Prime Minister about the Catholic Church’s role in Canadian residential schools.

Cardinal Thomas Collins said in an interview today he felt Trudeau’s comments that the Catholic Church needed to “step up” and take responsibility for its role in residential schools were “unhelpful” and “not based on real facts.”

Trudeau made the remarks on Friday, calling on Catholic officials to release records from the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia where an unmarked burial site is believed to contain the remains of 215 Indigenous children.

Trudeau also said he asked Pope Francis in 2017 to apologize for the Church’s role in the schools, and that Canadians are still waiting for that apology.

Collins says the remarks are unfair, noting that Pope Benedict XVI apologized in 2009 to a delegation from Canada’s Assembly of First Nations for the abuse experienced by children in residential schools and called their treatment “deplorable.”

Collins says the Church has been working continuously toward reconciliation with Indigenous people and invited Ottawa to be a part of those ongoing efforts.

The Canadian Press

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