OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to ask Pope Francis to issue a formal apology for the role of the Catholic Church in the residential school system.
Trudeau is expected to raise the issue during a one-on-one meeting with the Pope when he visits Vatican City on May 29, during his trip to Europe for the NATO and G7 summits.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission included a demand for a formal apology from the Pope to residential school survivors among the 94 recommendations in its report on the dark chapter in Canadian history.
The report said the apology should be delivered on Canadian soil.
Trudeau, who has promised to act on all 94 recommendations, has previously promised to speak to the Pope about an apology, but noted he could not compel him to agree.
The Vatican issued a statement from the previous pope, Benedict XVI in 2009, expressing sorrow for the treatment of indigenous children in residential schools.