Readers Speak Out: August 21-24, 2022

  • August 18, 2022

Tone deafness

My heart sank to read an article as well as a letter to the editor in the July 24-31 Catholic Register. In both, the writers told Indigenous peoples they should extend forgiveness once our Holy Father presents an apology on Canadian soil.

It doesn’t appear either writer understood that the attitude white people know best what Indigenous peoples should believe and act led to the abuses in residential schools and elsewhere in the first place.

When in communication with a victim/survivor of abuse, the more effective approach in moving towards healing and reconciliation is to listen, to ask, and to listen again.

Telling victims/survivors what they need to do to be healed is tone deaf, insensitive and even potentially re-traumatizing.

Lea Karen Kivi

Scarborough, Ont.

Already ready

In his July 25 address to Canada’s indigenous people, Pope Francis called for “a serious investigation into the facts.”

Canadian anthropologist Dr. Scott Hamilton has already published a solid piece of research on the burial of deceased residential school students. His 44-page report has been in the public domain since 2015 as part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and is entitled “Where are the Children Buried?”

It is essential reading for anyone wishing to form a fair appraisal.

Lise Anglin


Loose lips

The recent Catholic Register editorial “One papal flaw —genocide?” got it totally right.

Pope Francis was completely wrong to describe what happened at Canada’s residential schools as genocide. There is no evidence whatsoever it was genocide.

Does anybody believe nuns and priests who sacrificed much working in residential schools intended to kill Indigenous children? Of course not.

For Pope Francis to use the word genocide so loosely insulted victims of proven genocides in the 20th century: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, Cambodia, the Nazi Holocaust, the Rape of Nanking, Stalin’s forced famine of the Ukraine and the Armenians in Turkey.

The mainstream media is all too ready to discredit the Church, and Pope Francis played right along.

Lou Iacobelli


Memory assault

Pope Francis’ false accusation that the residential schools were genocidal to our Indigenous brothers and sisters is an assault on the memory of the Canadian missionary priests, religious brothers and sisters, lay persons of the time, and even the Canadian Martyrs. It is an attack on all present day Canadian Roman Catholics and all Roman Catholics around the world.

John Killackey

Mississauga, Ont.

Papal mistake

Your editorial “One papal flaw — genocide?” is on the mark. It was a mistake for Pope Francis to describe what happened in the residential schools as “clearly genocide.”

While wrongs were committed by those running the residential schools, for which the Pope apologized, there’s no evidence of “intent to physically destroy” Indigenous peoples. To prove intent you would need to show that nuns and priests of the schools were deliberately killing Indigenous children, but that isn’t supported by the facts.

Saying it was “clearly genocide” is unjustified.

Claudio Ceolin


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