A priest in Mississauga mentioned in his sermon that the Roman Catholic Church was “doing well” at boarding schools and came under fire. He said that some people might even be grateful for it.

Pastor Owen Keenan mentioned in his sermon in the parish of the Mercy Savior last Sunday Kamloops Boarding School, BC Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation reported that it found the preliminary remains of more than 200 children in unmarked graves in May.

“Two-thirds of the country’s people attribute the tragedy there to our beloved church,” he said in a video that was originally posted on the church’s YouTube page but was later deleted. Fragments of his sermons continue to circulate on social media.

“I think the same number of people would be grateful for the good things the church has done in these schools, but of course, this question has never been asked, and we can’t even say that good things have been done there. I’m waiting to see what’s in my inbox. .”

‘Extremely harmful to reconciliation’

One of Keenan’s comments sparked anger on social media. Someone said on Twitter that the priest’s comments were “really disgusting” and that “the church is not a victim”.

Dr. Suzanne Shoush is an Aboriginal and works at Unity Health Toronto, a Catholic health network.She asked Pope apologizes Because of the role of the church in boarding schools. She said Keenan’s remarks were not conducive to reconciliation and gave examples of why Catholic leaders needed to intervene.

She said: “This is part of the reason why we continue to push to formally ask the Pope himself to forgive Canadian Natives.”

“It is really important that it comes from the leadership so that we can stop these incredibly ignorant and harmful comments from the entire church. I think what we are seeing is extremely harmful to reconciliation.”

Undated photos of students and pastors at Kamloops Boarding School. (National Truth and Reconciliation Center)

Keenan also said in his sermon that although the church should apologize for its participation in the “improperly designed government project”, it should also wait to find out who is buried at the Kamloops site and why, and then “make Final judgment”.

The survivors of the boarding school shared terrible experiences of abuse, hunger and neglect, and the difficulty of obtaining documents from the Catholic Church, which runs most schools. The 2015 final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission first stated that what happened at the boarding school “can best be described as’cultural genocide.'”

“The church actively seeks to exercise exclusive control over the welfare of these children and therefore bears full responsibility for the living conditions of these children,” Shush said.

In a statement to CBC News on Wednesday, Keenan defended his remarks, saying he was trying to help his congregation struggle with negative news about the church.

He said in a statement: “I am deeply sorry, embarrassed, ashamed and shocked by the exposure of abuse, destruction and injury in boarding schools across the country.” “I will never condone this system…as a Catholic A disciple and a pastor, I hope I can say’I’m sorry’ to everyone who has been hurt.”

The Archdiocese of Toronto said in a statement that it had contacted Keenan and “expressed the deep pain and anger felt by some people.” He has “committed to a comprehensive education on the history of boarding schools.”

The archdiocese said: “We apologize to anyone who is offended by his remarks.”

The priest criticizes the pride flag of the school

In the same sermon, Keenan criticized Catholic schools for hoisting the pride flag this month, saying that the church wants them to show “courage” by displaying the cross or the sacred heart. He described the pride flag as a “contemporary licensing standard” that is replacing Catholic symbols.

Keenan did not answer CBC News’s question about his comments on the LGTBQ community.

Keith Baybayon stated that the school helps LGBTQ students feel more inclusive and safe by hoisting the pride flag. (Jared Thomas/Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

LGBTQ activist Keith Baybayon is also a student trustee of the Toronto Catholic District School Board. He said that as more and more Ontario school boards agree to hoist the pride flag in June each year, the Catholic Church’s membership has increased. Comments like this. He said that this flag has a special inclusive meaning for the LGBTQ community, while the cross does not.

Baybayon said: “Holding high the pride flag can really express the solidarity between the school board and LGTBQ students and staff, ensuring that they belong to themselves and their voices are heard.”

“We didn’t take the cross. We didn’t take the sacred heart. They were all there to make sure everyone was represented on our board.”


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