Pope Francis is now concluding a six-day visit to Canada, where the goal was to contribute to the reconciliation and healing of abuses that the Catholic Church subjected more than 150,000 children between 1831 and 1996.
On his way home, the 85-year-old Pope says he should slow down or step down altogether. The reason is the Pope’s knee problems, which have recently aggravated.
“Can replace the Pope”
The Pope believes the trip to Canada was a “test” to see if he can continue at the same pace, which he now says he cannot. The trip to Canada was the first for the Pope to use a wheelchair and cane to get around, which he said limited his schedule and activities.
– I think that at my age and with my knee problems, I should take it easy for the service of the church. Instead, I might consider whether I might step down, he told reporters on his private plane.
The Pope has never considered retiring but says he may have no choice and keeps the door open:
– Not strange. It’s not a disaster. He could replace the Pope.
On the plane home, he also stated that he was open to discussing the Catholic Church’s “absolute rejection of contraception” and that he would like to visit the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
During his trip to Canada, the Pope apologized for what he now calls a “genocide” against the indigenous population.
– I didn’t say the word because I didn’t think of it at the time, but I called it genocide, right? , says the Pope on the grounds that he only described the violations as genocide on the Sabbath and continues:
– I apologized, I asked pardon for this act of genocide.
Between 1831 and 1996, an estimated 150,000 Indigenous children were subjected to various types of abuse in specially established boarding schools. The system was based on forcibly separating children from their families to indoctrinate them with Western values through religious schools.
Both physical and sexual abuse occurred in conjunction with the denial of children’s cultures and languages. Last year, the remains of 215 children were found in a boarding school.
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