AMERICA/CANADA - Father Ouellet: "Let us learn from the Pope how to continue our mission of truth, forgiveness and reconciliation"

Wednesday, 27 July 2022 pope francis   forgiveness   reconciliation   peace  

Montréal (Agenzia Fides) - "Walking together": this is the common thread, but also the approach proposed to Canadians on the occasion of the 37th apostolic journey of Pope Francis which is taking place in these days in Canada (see Fides, 26/7/2022). "The invitation comes to us both from the large indigenous community (1,670,000) and from the Catholic Bishops' Conference and the Prime Minister of the country", comments to Agenzia Fides Father Yoland Ouellet, O.M.I., Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Canada. "After the meetings with the Holy Father in the Vatican, in which he expressed his pain, his shame for what some Catholics did in the past, for the lack of respect for indigenous culture and spirituality - explains Fr. Ouellet - the Pope asked for forgiveness. The Bishops from all over Canada did so in 2021, after the meetings of the journey of truth and reconciliation that began in 2015. The Holy Father thus continues an important journey of truth, forgiveness and healing in this pastoral visit from the east to the west of the country".
The National Director of the PMS continues: "We have a collective responsibility towards an entire system which, in my opinion, has caused victims on both sides. I like request for forgiveness more than the realization of a trial that only seeks to condemn the guilty, without mercy. The Christian approach welcomes the joyful news of love always possible and of brotherhood. The understanding of the human being today leads us to discern in him the leaven of good and evil and to direct a concerned but also hopeful gaze (John Paul II, "Reconciliation and Penance", n. 1). The divisions, the growing inequalities in our world show all kinds of evils that must be denounced and, among them, discrimination for socio-religious reasons and the traps against the freedom of individuals or groups, without forgetting the freedom to have one's own faith, to profess it and to practice it (John Paul II, "Reconciliation and Penance" n.2). The O.M.I. missionary concludes: "Walking together, with the Pope himself in our homes, allows us to desire reconciliation with one another through a serious effort of reflection and action that will lead us, over time, to peace and healing. Walking together is thus reconciling with the Mission that we want to pursue together, the Mission of announcing the Gospel to create a new humanity, to build this civilization of love, as Saint John Paul II said when he came to visit us in 1984". (EG) (Agenzia Fides, 27/7/2022)