The Vatican has officially announced a visit by Pope Francis to Canada from July 24-29.
The Pontiff will make three major stops in Edmonton, Quebec and Iqaluit.
The announcement was made on Friday by Archbishop Richard Smith, head of the papal visit, who said the trip will be limited to those cities due to the pope’s mobility issues.
“You can’t fly in a helicopter, you can’t be in a car for more than an hour, you can’t be in a different place every night,” he said from Edmonton.
According to the Canadian Episcopal Conference (CCCB), further locations and specific itinerary details will be announced six to eight weeks prior to the visit.
A visit by Pope Francis to the shrines of Lac Sainte-Anne and possibly to the Cree Nation of Ermineskin is planned.
the expected apology
The visit was originally planned following an April 1 meeting with First Nations, Inuit and Métis delegates, who traveled to the Vatican to meet him.
Delegates want the pope to apologize to indigenous communities for the role played by the Roman Catholic Church in most residential schools.
An apology is being demanded after more than 200 unmarked graves containing the remains of children were discovered last year near the former Catholic-run Indian residential college in Kamloops.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the papal visit and apology would be important steps toward meaningful reconciliation for Canada’s Indigenous peoples.
It may interest you: Pope apologizes to Indigenous peoples for residential schools in Canada
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