Did Harper ask Pope for residential school apology?
Prime Minister Stephen Harper brought up last week’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report on Canada’s residential schools with Pope Francis during a visit to the Vatican Thursday, the PMO says.
But the news release issued Thursday morning doesn’t say whether Harper asked the Pope to apologize, as requested in the report, for the Catholic Church’s role in running the schools the TRC said amounted to a “cultural genocide.”
A Vatican news release about Harper’s visit doesn’t even mention the topic came up.
“During the course of the cordial discussions, the good relations existing between the Holy See and Canada were noted,” the release from the Vatican Information Service says.
It goes on to say Harper and the Pope talked about “Canada’s commitment to defend and promote religious freedom in the context of fundamental human rights,” as well as “international political issues … the fight against terrorism and environmental issues.”
Earlier on Thursday, a release from the Prime Minister’s Office said Harper “drew attention” to a letter sent by Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, regarding the commission’s findings.
Postmedia Network asked the PMO whether Harper directly asked the Pope for an apology, but has not yet received a response.