Pope: Church feels 'burden of failure' over indigenous abuse

STORY: On the penultimate day of his week-long apology tour of Canada, Francis presided at a Mass at the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre in the town of the same name about 20 miles (30 km) outside Quebec City.

At the start of the Mass, some participants unfurled a banner asking him to formally rescind 15th century edicts, known as the doctrine of discovery, in which the papacy justified the taking of indigenous land in the New World. The large banner was unfurled near the front row facing the congregation. They later took it down, and it was not clear if the pope saw what was written on it.

In his homily, the pope spoke of "the burning questions that this pilgrim Church in Canada is asking, with heartfelt sorrow, on its difficult and demanding journey of healing and reconciliation."

He continued: "Allow me to accompany you as a Church in pondering these questions that arise from hearts filled with pain: Why did all this happen? How could this happen in the community of those who follow Jesus?"

More than 150,000 indigenous children were separated from their families and brought to residential schools, which operated between 1870 and 1996.

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