We, the Catholic Bishops of Canada, gathered in Plenary this week, take this opportunity to affirm to you, the Indigenous Peoples of this land, that we acknowledge the suffering experienced in Canada’s Indian Residential Schools. Many Catholic religious communities and dioceses participated in this system, which led to the suppression of Indigenous languages, culture and spirituality, failing to respect the rich history, traditions and wisdom of Indigenous Peoples. We acknowledge the grave abuses that were committed by some members of our Catholic community; physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, cultural, and sexual. We also sorrowfully acknowledge the historical and ongoing trauma and the legacy of suffering and challenges faced by Indigenous Peoples that continue to this day. Along with those Catholic entities which were directly involved in the operation of the schools and which have already offered their own heartfelt apologies, we, the Catholic Bishops of Canada, express our profound remorse and apologize unequivocally.
We are fully committed to the process of healing and reconciliation. Together with the many pastoral initiatives already underway in dioceses across the country, and as a further tangible expression of this ongoing commitment, we are pledging to undertake fundraising in each region of the country to support initiatives discerned locally with Indigenous partners. Furthermore, we invite the Indigenous Peoples to journey with us into a new era of reconciliation, helping us in each of our dioceses across the country to prioritize initiatives of healing, to listen to the experience of Indigenous Peoples, especially to the survivors of Indian Residential Schools, and to educate our clergy, consecrated men and women, and lay faithful, on Indigenous cultures and spirituality. We commit ourselves to continue the work of providing documentation or records that will assist in the memorialization of those buried in unmarked graves.
Having heard the requests to engage Pope Francis in this reconciliation process, a delegation of Indigenous survivors, Elders/knowledge keepers, and youth will meet with the Holy Father in Rome in December 2021. Pope Francis will encounter and listen to the Indigenous participants, so as to discern how he can support our common desire to renew relationships and walk together along the path of hope in the coming years. We pledge to work with the Holy See and our Indigenous partners on the possibility of a pastoral visit by the Pope to Canada as part of this healing journey.
We commit ourselves to continue accompanying you, the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples of this land. Standing in respect of your resiliency, strength and wisdom, we look forward to listening to and learning from you as we walk in solidarity.
24 September 2021
 Indian Residential Schools and TRC – Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (cccb.ca)
 The CCCB website has a link to several apologies previously offered by Catholic bishops, including those offered by bishops at national TRC events
Statement of Apology by the Catholic Bishops of Canada to the Indigenous Peoples of This Land
Ten years ago, on November 30, 2011, we gathered at St. Joseph's Cathedral to officially welcome our new Archbishop for the beginning of his pastoral ministry in our diocesan Church. Inspired by his episcopal motto, Sing and Walk, we learned to walk with him so that the Gospel of Christ might be proclaimed here in the Outaouais.
The CCCB Commission for Justice and Peace released a Pastoral Letter entitled For Freedom Christ has Set us Free: Pastoral Letter on Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation in Canada. The letter draws attention to the inherently exploitative and abusive nature of the purchase of sex and insists that in order to protect the vulnerable, this practice must continue to be criminalized: “Treating sex as ‘work’ masks the physical, psychological and sexual violence inflicted on the prostituted person. Prostitution involves selling something that by its nature cannot be bought or sold and is therefore inherently exploitative.”
Beginning on Sunday, 21 November 2021, the Solemnity of Christ the King, the CCCB will release a video recording of a Bishop in Canada reflecting on the Gospel Reading for each Sunday of Advent. This year’s reflections were developed in view of the Indigenous Delegation which will be travelling to Rome to meet with Pope Francis from December 17 to 20, 2021. Each reflection is based one of the five essential stages of reconciliation: examen, confession, repentance, reparation (making amends), and reconciliation. Likewise, it is hoped these reflections will assist the faithful, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike, in preparing for Pope Francis’ eventual apostolic journey to Canada.
The poor, always and everywhere, evangelize us, because they enable us to discover in new ways the true face of the Father. “They have much to teach us. Besides participating in the sensus fidei, they know the suffering Christ through their own sufferings. It is necessary that we all let ourselves be evangelized by them. The new evangelization is an invitation to recognize the salvific power of their lives and to place them at the centre of the Church’s journey.
After it’s One Million Children Praying the Rosary campaign in October, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is preparing for the launch of its second magazine of this year called Faith, Hope and Charity, which will present the work of the Church in Central and South America. In addition, ACN Canada is also busy resuming face-to-face activities as part of International Red Week, starting on Wednesday, November 17.
The Catholic Bishops of Canada are pleased to announce that 25-30 First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Elders, knowledge keepers, residential school survivors, and youth will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican from December 17-20, 2021, accompanied by a small group of Canadian Bishops.
The Novatio Foundation of the Archdiocese of Gatineau announces an opening for the Philanthropic Development Director. Founded in 2018, the Novatio Foundation is thus starting its operations and the development of its planned giving program. Those interested in applying should send their resume with a cover letter, before December 6, 2021...
An invitation to those who work in the pastoral care of the sick and dying.
Toolkit Launch | Zoom Webinar
Monday, 15 Nov 2021, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m EST