Trudeau says he can't compel Pope to apologize for residential schools

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confesses he can't compel an apology from the Pope for the role of the Catholic Church in Canada's residential school system.

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But Trudeau says he looks forward to raising the matter with the pontiff.

Trudeau met for more than two hours this morning with leaders from five indigenous organizations, capping a week that saw the Truth and Reconciliation Commission deliver its final report on the legacy of residential schools.

The commission made 94 "calls to action" towards reconciliation in a preliminary report last June -- including an apology from the Pope -- and the Liberals pledged to implement the entire report.

About 60 per cent of Canada's residential schools were run by the Catholic Church between the 1840s and 1996, when the last school closed.

The six-year commission found that the government-funded, church-run schools were the key to a policy of cultural genocide designed to "kill the Indian in the child" -- something for which the head of the Catholic Church has not formally apologized.



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