Canadian Lawmakers Want a Papal Apology Over Indigenous Schools

(Bloomberg) -- Canadian lawmakers passed a motion to ask Pope Francis for a formal apology over schools overseen by the Catholic church in which aboriginal children were often abused.

The motion passed 269-10 in the Ottawa legislature Tuesday. While it was sponsored by the opposition New Democratic Party, some members of the Conservatives and governing Liberals also voted in favor.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised the issue during a visit to the Vatican last year, following the recommendations of a truth and reconciliation commission. The federal government and other religious denominations who also managed so-called residential schools have already apologized for their role.

“There are days when Parliament rises above the partisan divisions to speak to the profound issues of our time,” Charlie Angus, the sponsor of the motion, said on Twitter.

An estimated 150,000 children and youths were taken from their homes and forced to attend residential schools, most of which closed in the 1970s.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the motion.

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