INDIGENOUS DELEGATES to the Vatican must be feeling a great sense of satisfaction, happiness, even relief as they wing their way home. Pope Francis has apologized.
Nobody was expecting it; the great hope was that he would agree to come to this country and do it on Canadian soil but this is even better, for he has apologized first, pledged to come, and will do it again.
It could happen this summer. It will be a huge event. For Kamloops and the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc, it will be all the more historic if he accepts an invitation to pay respects here as part of his visit.
The impact of that visit, of meeting and listening to survivors, will be monumental.
This humble man, with his unequivocal acknowledgement of the “deplorable conduct” of church members who ran residential schools, has created an undeniable turning point in what is perhaps the saddest chapter — an ongoing one — in Canada’s history.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.