Excuses from the Pope: not a word about "sexual violence", according to Michèle Audette

In his apology for the evil committed by the Church against Indigenous peoples in Canada, Pope Francis spoke of "physical, mental and spiritual violence, but never of sexual violence", regretted Michèle Audette, senator and senior adviser to the reconciliation at Laval University.

Excuses from the Pope: not a word about "sexual violence", according to Michèle Audette

In his apology for the evil committed by the Church against Indigenous peoples in Canada, Pope Francis spoke of "physical, mental and spiritual violence, but never of sexual violence", regretted Michèle Audette, senator and senior adviser to the reconciliation at Laval University.

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In his speech, the Holy Father asked for forgiveness three times, but for Michèle Audette, a fourth was missing “around facts which are unfortunately known in the archives in Rome and by those who are still alive”.

“We never mentioned these extremely important words for those who remain,” she said in an interview with TVA Nouvelles on Tuesday.

However, she believes that these apologies, which "reopen all kinds of wounds", are important and allow indigenous peoples to heal.

“[The Pope] is here in territory where there has been a lot of suffering and the impact [of residential schools] is still palpable. And his words (...) all these people in the space where I was, they listened and especially filmed. (…) I found the people very courageous, very calm or resilient.”

The senator also spoke of the “courage” of the survivors who will go to Saint-Anne-de-Beaupré on Thursday to listen to the Holy Father “but above all to meet him and see his sincerity in terms of forgiveness”.

“These people have suffered and this presence will certainly help them,” she said, adding that “this moment belongs to them.”

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