Pope Francis met two Canadian cardinals residing in the Vatican on Saturday as their country was shaken after the discovery of the remains of 215 children at a former Indigenous students’ school run by the Catholic Church.
The Pope held separate talks with Cardinal Michael Czerny and Cardinal Marc Ole, the Vatican reported on Saturday. Olé meets with the Pope every Saturday in his capacity as head of the Vatican department that oversees bishops. Czerny, the Vatican’s expert on immigrants and refugees, does not have a regular weekly meeting with the Pope. He is a Czech-born Canadian citizen whose family immigrated to Montreal when he was two years old.
The Vatican did not mention what was discussed in private. However, diplomats do not rule out not discussing recent events in Canada. Several Canadians have asked the Pope to formally apologize for the Catholic Church’s role in the boarding schools run by various Christian denominations on behalf of the government between 1831 and 1996.
Francis, who was elected pope in 2013, has already apologized for the church’s role in colonizing the American continent. The Pope’s visit to Canada is not planned. During a visit to Bolivia in 2015, Francis apologized for “the many grave sins committed in the name of God against Native Americans.”