June 19th, 2024

Pope needs to apologize for the residential schools

By Letter to the Editor on June 10, 2021.

On June 1, 2021 the Lethbridge Herald carried a front page photograph of children’s shoes laid on St. Patrick’s Church steps. As a Catholic, I am ashamed. And angry. I can no longer excuse the Pope’s refusal to apologize for residential school atrocities. Since the very definition of sin is an offense against truth (CCC1849), the Church continues to sin every additional day that it resists what it knows to be true; which is that residential schools were church-sanctioned, regardless of which religious orders actually administered them.
Just as a CEO cannot pass his company’s blame to a subordinate, the Pope cannot hide behind localized apologies or half-hearted expressions of sorrow. Nothing short of a true apology – in Canada, as requested by the TRC – will suffice. Neither will that be the end of it. The Church must then do the necessary penance as our Catechism demands (CCC1459).
I call upon my fellow Catholics to send a letter or postcard to Pope Francis, Apostolic Palace, 00120, Vatican City. Regrettably, no electronic or social media is accepted. Or email the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops at http://www.cccb.ca/contact. Our message is simple, “Apologize for Canadian Residential Schools Now.”
Alice Matisz

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Dennis Bremner

I was listening to an interview of a Kelowna Residential Survivor when he said something that tweaked me. He remembered the pain of being strapped across the wrists as punishment. I attended Catholic Schools in the early 50s-60s and have no fond memories!
I have always equated the “Catholic Order” as a source of abuse! In my latter years it was postulated that I had suffered ADHD at its worst as a child, well before there was a recognition or treatment of either. I was an unruly student who had to be “punished” at least 3 times a week, and on record weeks, once a day. Out of all the sisters/priests/teachers that strapped me, I exempt Sister Justine and Mrs. Foster who were remarkably good women and teachers. The remainder took some sort of deviant satisfaction in inflicting the most pain as possible. I noted on numerous occasions as new teachers were being instructed on how to strap a child, that the hand was to be extended palm up and fingers bent back to ensure a tight palm where the strap was to meet its mark. I also remember that the comment was made not to let the strap extend beyond the palm so as to not strap the palm side of the wrist.
That all changed in 1959. At the ripe old age of ten, the strap reached beyond the palm and extended a good 2-3 inches beyond which was like receiving the end of a whip as it snapped around the palm. I can remember from that point onward two things. Physically bigger people were employed to strap those that did not cry, and the sacrosanct rule of not allowing the strap to extend beyond the palm went out the window as the sadists piled up at the door in hopes they would become the one to “break you”! I remember the glee in the eye of a visiting priest to the school, when he observed me being strapped and I was not crying. He relieved the Nun, and I can assure you when he was finished with me, I was crying! Even the punishment of “standing in a corner” was refined to new levels by those that say they follow God. Periodically one would receive a whack against the back of the head that then bounced your head off the cinder crete block walls. It did not take long to realize that if “sentenced to stand in a corner” that you should ensure your head is against both walls at all times, or, you got your bells wrung! As the amount of time in the corner was extended the deviants would wait till you relaxed and moved your head away from the wall before you got your next whack! Even writing lines on a blackboard ended up with a new twist. If a small child you could not reach the top of the board, so you were furnished a stool to stand on. The stool was kicked out from underneath me numerous times to prove a point. Never figured out what that point was and none of it had anything to do with God or teaching me a lesson I could relate too, other than “be highly aware of Nutbar Catholics and the damage they can do to children in the name of God”! If that was the only message, it worked! Because I am highly atuned to it as an adult!
The varying techniques of screwing up a child were passed between orders of the church and were all derived from our Local Residential School where the “messengers of God refined their techniques”! I know why the Pope doesn’t want to apologize to the First Nations, it opens to many doors and “the order of sadistic people” would collapse under their own weight!

Last edited 3 years ago by Dennis Bremner
Fedup Conservative

You have just described what a lot of Indians have told me over the years and you have to wonder why anyone would be dumb enough to continue to support the Catholic Church after all this has been brought to light, but a lot of our senior friends still do.
Thanks Dennis for pointing this out. I certainly believe you.

Dennis Bremner

Many are not aware of this but if you were in a Catholic School in a city that had a Residential School, then the discipline tactics migrated out of the Residential School to the rest of the schools that they had influence over.

Fedup Conservative

Under ; Residential Schools getting away with murder, Lucky 13 Has pointed out what happened to him for being Left Handed in a Letter in the Medicine Hat News today. You might want to read it.

Dennis Bremner

Funny you mention it. I am Left Handed and the Church hated that. So I spent many a day writing with my right hand with my left tied behind my back, “because I could not be trusted to write properly, the net result is I am a poor writer with both hands. They would take a shoe lace from your shoes, tie it around your wrist and then tie it to a belt loop in the back of your pants.

Last edited 3 years ago by Dennis Bremner

Are you sure you can’t blame the Ralph Klein years for this FC? If you can’t then you are surely slowing down!

Fedup Conservative

Johnny was so in love with this Liberal turned Reformer Ralph Klein that he he refuses to believe that he helped screw Albertans out of hundreds of billions of dollars he gave us the highest power bills in Canada, the highest property taxes, the highest vehicle registration fees, the highest school fees, the second highest auto insurance fees, highest day care fees, the highest liquor prices, highest long term health care fees and dumped the Orphan Well Mess on our children to deal with.
He can’t understand why members of the Klein family tried to help us vote him out. Apparently they were a lot smarter than Johnny.
Of course sadly he doesn’t have any lawyer, accountant, oilmen, bankers or former MLA friends who could set him straight. I’ve been having coffee, week days, with many of them over the past 22 years.
I wonder how he would explain this interview with Angie in court if he were asked to do so? Somewhere in my family there are pictures of my mother holding Angie when she was just a new baby. Klein’s mother Flo and my mother were good friends.
Watching his Liberal friend Jason Kenney take a beating in the polls must also break his heart. Let’s face it he loves supporting Liberals pretending they are conservatives, none of my conservative friends are that stupid. .
Of course Johnny would never watch this video he doesn’t want to know the truth he can’t handle it. He isn’t man enough.
“Daughter of Former Premier Ralph Klein supports NDP in up coming election”.


That’s better FC! Glad to see things are back to the old broken-record normal! For a while there I did think there was something seriously wrong with you.