Pope Francis to begin six-day Canada visit

Pope Francis visit will begin a six-day visit to Canada today. The first Canadian papal visit in two decades will

Pope Francis Canada visit

Pope Francis will begin a six-day visit to Canada today to address the church’s injustices against the First Nation indigenous communities – Photo: Vatican Media/Handout/Reuters

Pope Francis visit will begin a six-day visit to Canada today.

The first Canadian papal visit in two decades will focus on healing and reconciliation, a theme of Pope Francis’ papacy. The international media dubbed the trip a “pilgrimage of penance,” as Pope Francis is widely expected to apologize for injustices perpetuated by the Catholic church against Canada’s First Nation indigenous communities.

Debate ranges on the form a Papal apology should take. While some want the return of indigenous artifacts housed in the Vatican’s museums, others want the Vatican to revoke the 1493 Doctrine of Discovery, a Papal decree justifying the European Christianization of the Americas. In 2015, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops voted to condemn the doctrine.

Expect Pope Francis to apologize throughout the, though he is unlikely to revoke the doctrine of discovery due to the chain reaction it would cause beyond Canada. He is also unlikely to return artifacts from the Vatican’s museums for similar reasons. Instead, expect him to call on the Church to fundraise to finish paying out a multimillion compensation fund per a 2007 agreement, of which only a fraction was ever paid, though Indigenous rights groups will likely criticize the Pope for his lack of tangible action.