Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a request for Pope Francis: say sorry for the role of the Catholic Church in a Canadian school system where indigenous children were abused.
Trudeau's government has promised a call to action on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's demand for a papal apology to survivors, their families and communities related to the dark legacy of residential schools. Unlike US President Donald Trump, who met the pope last week, Trudeau and Francis agree that climate change is caused by human activity.
"He reminded me his entire life has been dedicated to supporting marginalized people in the world and fighting for them and he looked forward to working with me and the Canadian bishops to figure out a path forward together". "The parties then focused on the themes of integration and reconciliation".
"In the cordial discussions the good bilateral relations between the Holy See and Canada were evoked, along with the contribution of the Catholic Church to the social life of the country", read a statement from the Vatican. But he said Pope Francis doesn't plan to visit Canada this year. The Prime Minister's Office called it a 42-minute meeting.More news: UN Security Council discusses North Korea's latest missile test at emergency meeting
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The bishops of Saskatchewan, Indigenous leaders and civic authorities have invited Pope Francis to visit the province in 2018 or '19 to offer an official apology. Both meetings yielded images of the pope standing blank-faced beside each leader, though he is shown smiling broadly at other points during the respective visits.
U.S. President Donald Trump, who like Trudeau had been in Brussels for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders' meeting and in Sicily for the G7 summit, met the Pope for about 30 minutes last week. The body had recommended that the Pope apologise on Canadian soil for the Church's involvement in the treatment of Canadian Aboriginal children who were subjected to physical violence, derogatory language, neglect and meagre food within a church - and later government - run residential school system.
In return, the Pope gave the prime minister a gold medal marking the fourth year of his pontificate, an autographed copy of his message for World Peace Day and three papal letters about family, the environment and evangelism.
For his part, Trudeau - who was accompanied by his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau - gave Francis six volumes of a rare set of "Jesuit Relations" books, which tell the story of French Jesuits in Native North America in the seventeenth century. "So this follow with Prime Minister Trudeau today is really great news", Mr. Littlechild said.