Eskimo Humble Pie: For what is Jorge apologizing?

On July 25, Jorge Bergoglio (stage name, Francis) delivered an address in Canada to the “indigenous peoples of Maskwacis,” more commonly called Eskimos. 

“I am here because the first step of my penitential pilgrimage among you is that of again asking forgiveness, of telling you once more that I am deeply sorry,” he said. 

The backdrop concerns allegations of abuse that are said to have occurred in Canada’s “residential school” system, described in a Wikipedia article as follows:

In Canada, the Indian residential school system was a network of boarding schools for Indigenous peoples. Attendance was mandatory from 1894 to 1947. The network was funded by the Canadian government’s Department of Indian Affairs and administered by Christian churches. The school system was created to isolate Indigenous children from the influence of their own native culture and religion in order to assimilate them into the dominant Canadian culture.

It is alleged that some of the children in the residential schools, which were not run exclusively by Catholic religious, suffered physical and sexual abuse. Others evidently died there – perhaps as the result of poor living conditions that were ripe for the spread of infectious disease – their bodies buried in unmarked graves. 

To whatever extent such abuses happened – whether widespread, limited, or somewhere in between – it is terrible indeed. “It would be better for those who caused the children to suffer to have a great millstone fastened around their neck and drowned in the depth of the sea” (cf Matthew 18:5).

That, however, isn’t the only thing that caused regret to well up in the heart Chief Eviltree of the Great Heretic Nation (see photo above). In fact, I’d wager that’s not even the main reason he is so filled with remorse. 

Speaking to the assembly of their proud pagan patrimony, Jorge said: 

To remember: brothers and sisters, you have lived on these lands for thousands of years, following ways of life that respect the earth which you received as a legacy from past generations and are keeping for those yet to come. You have treated it as a gift of the Creator to be shared with others and to be cherished in harmony with all that exists, in profound fellowship with all living beings.  In this way, you learned to foster a sense of family and community, and to build solid bonds between generations, honouring your elders and caring for your little ones. A treasury of sound customs and teachings, centred on concern for others, truthfulness, courage and respect, humility, honesty and practical wisdom!

Ah yes, so many sound teachings, like that expressed by the “healing dance” that the pagans performed to the beating of the “sacred drum” for Chief Eviltree. The emcee explained that “the drum is the heartbeat of Mother Earth,” and what’s more, “the drum is life!”  

Earlier, as local tribal chiefs filed into the venue, he declared that “the sun is the most powerful thing the Creator has given us.” 

Yes, the sun, not the Son.

Those who brought Christianity to North America evidently did not appreciate this “treasury of sound customs and teachings” as much as His Wokeness clearly does. He went on to suggest, however, that it didn’t have to be this way:

When the European colonists first arrived here, there was a great opportunity to bring about a fruitful encounter between cultures, traditions and forms of spirituality. Yet for the most part that did not happen. 

What happened instead is that many of the pagan Eskimos were catechized and baptized. The missionaries evidently did not realize that “the pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom” (See Document on Human Fraternity), and for this, Jorge is deeply sorry.