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Pope Francis officiated Mass in Edmonton, Canada on Tuesday as part of his apostolic journey.
The Pope was dressed in a robe made by a local artist and carried a handmade staff for Mass, where he delivered a sermon reflecting on the historically tumultuous relationship between the institutional Catholic Church and Indigenous communities in Canada.
During the celebration of the Pontifical Mass, Francis was called to deliver a sermon – a meditation on the Holy Scriptures read at Mass – in which he spoke of the elderly, The transmission of the Christian faith from generation to generationand the importance of remembering the sacrifices of one’s ancestors.
“Those who preceded us gave us passion, strength and aspiration, a flame that we must rekindle,” said Pope Francis. “It’s not about keeping the ashes, it’s about rekindling the fire he lit.”
“The grandparents who were before, the elderly who dreamed and hoped for us and made great sacrifices for us, ask us an important question – what kind of society do you want to build?” Dad asked the audience.
Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton in front of an audience of approximately 50,000 people. The Mass is a central element of Catholic theology. This is the sacrament in which the faithful gather to receive the Eucharist, which Catholics consider to be the real body and blood of Jesus Christ.
The Mass was especially forward-thinking in the context of the Pope’s trip, which has been called a pilgrimage of apologies – on Monday, the Bishop of Rome apologized for the mistreatment and mistreatment of local children during the period of Christianization in Canada.
“While Christian philanthropy has not been absent and there have been many outstanding examples of devotion and care for children, the overall impact of the policies associated with boarding schools has been disastrous,” the Pope said in a formal apology to indigenous communities on Monday.
Between 1881 and 1996, over 150,000 indigenous children were separated from their families and sent to boarding schools. The schools were overseen by both missionaries and the Canadian government. Several children were allegedly starved, beaten and sexually abused.
The pope did not condemn historic Catholic missionaries in Canada, saying instead that although many Catholics had noble intentions and helped the people they were supposed to serve, “our Christian faith tells us that this was a catastrophic mistake, inconsistent with the gospel of Jesus” . Christ.”
While a significant part of the modern indigenous population professes Catholicism, temple remains controversial in secular discussions.
The Pope’s Mass was intended to bring those people who had been harmed in the past or who felt ignored by the church back into the wider Catholic community.
Catholicism remains a common religion among the indigenous peoples.
Canadian leaders have known of many children dying in schools since 1907, but the incidents have received more attention since unmarked graves were discovered in or near former boarding schools last year.
Thousands of tickets to mass were reserved for the native survivors of the boarding schools. Indigenous leaders at Treaty 6, a place Francis visits in Alberta, said they were overwhelmed with requests from survivors who wanted to attend the event.