AFN's Fontaine says he hopes statement will 'close the book' on apologies issue
In a statement, the Vatican said the Pope "offered his sympathy and prayerful solidarity" to those whose anguish was caused by some church members. The comments came during a private audience with the delegation, which included Assembly of First Nations Leader Phil Fontaine, aboriginal elders and residential school survivors.
While he said it did not amount to an official apology, Fontaine told CBC News he hoped the expression of regret would "close the book" on the issue of apologies for residential school survivors.
"The fact that the word 'apology' was not used does not diminish this moment in any way," he said. "This experience gives me great comfort."
Yeah, right. If you believe that, you'll believe the Vatican is thinking of selling its art to help the poor, huddled masses around the world. You know, the people Jesus said we should help?
But if Fontaine is satisfied, I'm happy for him. Since he seems to be leading the quest for apologies, he should know if the "book" is closed. Now maybe he can concentrate on something else--like getting tangible aid for his people instead of more "sorrowful" words.
Anyway, let's hope this non-apology apology provides the closure and healing the residential school survivors need. I trust their quality of life will increase and their pain and anguish will decrease. After all, the Pope's is God's man on Earth, so his words should be able to heal someone.
For more on the subject, see Canadian Apology = Divide and Conquer and Our Turn to Apologize?
Below: "Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine, left, walks in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City ahead of a private audience with the Pope on Wednesday.Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine, left, walks in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City ahead of a private audience with the Pope on Wednesday." (Stephanie Jenzer/CBC)