Pope Expresses Regret For Abuse at Canadian Aboriginal Schools
Pope Benedict XVI met with a delegation from Canada's Assembly of First Nations on Wednesday to speak about the abuse and treatment of aboriginal students who attended schools run by the Roman Catholic Church.
The pope had a private meeting in the Vatican with the delegation and expressed his personal sorrow regarding the abuses suffered at the schools, where rampant sexual and physical abuse took place. While the pope stopped short of an official apology, he hoped the expression of regret would 'close the book' on the issue.
The Pope expressed his personal sorrow at the Vatican during a private audience with the delegation, which included Assembly of First Nations Leader Phil Fontaine, aboriginal elders and residential school survivors.
During the meeting in the Vatican's Paul VI auditorium, Benedict emphasized that "acts of abuse cannot be tolerated," the church said.
"Given the sufferings that some indigenous children experienced in the Canadian residential school system, the Holy Father expressed his sorrow at the anguish caused by the deplorable conduct of some members of the church and he offered his sympathy and prayerful solidarity," a statement from the Vatican said.