Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI

I’m no wide-eyed wood faun when it comes to the Holy Church of the One and Only Truly Voice of Gawd on Earth (aka the Pope), so I never expected much from this little trip to the Vatican in Rome by a whole bunch of NishNawbs lead by Phil (make me an offer) Fontaine of the Assembly of First Nations. They went to get an apology from Mr. Benedict hisself for that residential schools thing in Canada. Remember those things?


If I was them – and I ain’t because that Church has spent the better part of 500 years on this continent doing everything it could to convey my ancestors to the afterlife, just as soon as they consigned their souls to heaven, and their land to the priests – I would have had a “Plan A” and used it.

I would not be interested in an apology from the Catholics one bit.

No sirree, I would have held out for a bit more than this (below) from the Catholic Church – at least for what it did to Indigenous folks in the Catholic-run schools as part of Canada’s Residential School system:

Communique of the Holy See Press Office

At the end of the General Audience, the Holy Father met with Mr Phil Fontaine, the Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Canada, and the Most Reverend James Weisgerber, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, together with those accompanying them, and he listened to their stories and concerns.

His Holiness recalled that since the earliest days of her presence in Canada, the Church, particularly through her missionary personnel, has closely accompanied the indigenous peoples. Given the sufferings that some indigenous children experienced in the Canadian Residential School system, the Holy Father expressed his sorrow at the anguish caused by the deplorable conduct of some members of the Church and he offered his sympathy and prayerful solidarity. His Holiness emphasized that acts of abuse cannot be tolerated in society. He prayed that all those affected would experience healing, and he encouraged First Nations Peoples to continue to move forward with renewed hope.

[00674-02.01] [Original text: English]

I woulda gone up to da Pope, y’see. I woulda said: Hey, Pope! Benny, baby. You know all of those Papal Bulls that your Church enacted ever since Cristof Colom landed on our beaches? Y’know, the ones that relegate us Indeo types to some kind of subhuman species, good only for reaping as converted souls – after we sign away our lands to your priests? Y’know what I’m talking about, right?

Well, Benny, I woulda said, whyncha rip dem up? Y’know, repeal them? Why youse still got dem hangin’ around anyways? Capiche? Maybe then we can begin again, eh? But not until then.

Y’see? It’s nothin’ personal, Benny. Just business. And dat’s a lotta bull you got dere.

Of course, I didn’t get the chance because I ain’t Phil (let’s make a deal) Fontaine.