The pope will hold two meetings with indigenous groups at the end of his six-day tour

QUEBEC CITY – Pope Francis is preparing to complete his six-day tour of Canada, which he has described as a pilgrimage of penance, with meetings in Quebec and Iqaluit.

The pontiff is expected to start the day with private meetings at the residence of the Archbishop of Quebec, then is expected to meet with a delegation of indigenous peoples.

Later in the day, Francis will travel to Iqaluit where he will participate in private meetings with residential school survivors.

There will also be an outdoor meeting with young and old before returning to the Vatican.

During the tour, which included stops in Alberta, the pontiff apologized for the role played by Roman Catholic institutions in the residential school system.

Some said his apology didn’t go far enough because he didn’t make it clear that the Catholic Church, and not just a few bad people, was responsible for the abuses at the residential schools.

Critics also said it should have overturned the Doctrine of Discovery – dating back to the 15th century – which justified the colonization of North America.

During an evening prayer service on Thursday, Francis acknowledged the sexual abuse inflicted on “minors and the vulnerable,” but he did not specifically say that sexual abuse had occurred in boarding schools.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on July 29, 2022.

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