A number of Catholic churches and statues have been destroyed in Canada after the discovery of unmarked mass graves in the country. Now after a more recent 3rd discovery of an unmarked mass grave site of more residential school victims, a statue of the queen has been toppled in Manitoba.
At least 10 churches have been vandalized, others burned, statues destroyed etc, buildings vandalized with red and orange paint on Canada Day.
The incident of unmarked mass graves has sparked outrage across the nation and around the world. It prompted a number of calls to cancel Canada Day festivities this past week around the country. Investigations are already underway into those attacks on different churches and the PM has spoken out calling the acts of arson against those churches both unacceptable and wrong.
Violence Against Churches Not The Answer
Burning down those churches and attacking statues isn’t going to right any wrongs. PM Trudeau spoke out recently stating that he understood the anger out there against these institutions, that there is a shameful history that has become exposed, and that there is a need to do better, but violence against churches isn’t the answer.
Crisis lines have been set up to help those who are dealing with the impact of these discoveries.
The first grave had been discovered in Kamloops, B.C., 2nd unmarked grave in Saskatchewan, now a 3rd in Cranbrook, B.C. where 182 unmarked graves were discovered.
How are the graves being discovered? For the more recent one in B.C. they had used ground-penetrating radar to search and find the site.
Now there is pressure that is growing for the Pope to issue an apology for the role that the Catholic Church played in the Canadian residential school system. As for right now it isn’t clear exactly how each individual died or when they died.
As for the recent discovery in B.C., some say it wasn’t all that unexpected.
According to a former chief of the St Mary’s Indian Band, they always knew the graves were there but it hadn’t been confirmed until recently.
This week saw organized protests around Canada for Canada Day in remembrance of the residential school victims.
For those who took part in the organized protests they admit it was an effort to try and process and realize their pain in a safe way. Other gatherings ended up resulting in property damage though with statues being thrown into the harbour.
Right now there aren’t any guarantees of an apology from the church but there are reports that the Pope is expected to meet with Indigenous leaders at some point on the topic of residential schools in Canada.