Pope Francis's apology for residential schools doesn't acknowledge institutional responsibility
April 11, 2022
Pope Francis made a public statement on April 1 to the delegations of Indigenous people who met with him last week to discuss personal experiences in residential schools or their harmful legacies.
His statement included the words “I am very sorry,” and is being reported as an apology for residential schools.
As a white settler theologian, it is not for me to say what the apology means to those to whom it was addressed. But as a scholar who studies church apologies for historical wrongs, and their place in processes of reconciliation, I note there are significant shortcomings to the Pope’s statement.