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Coveting wealth and possessions blind us to the ‘true goods of life,’ Pope Francis says

Pope Francis reflected on the dangers of coveting wealth and possessions during his Angelus reflection in St. Peter's Square in Rome on July 31, 2022. / Vatican Media

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jul 31, 2022 / 06:32 am (CNA).

A day after returning to Rome from his weeklong trip to Canada, Pope Francis on Sunday reflected on the dangers of coveting wealth and possessions.

In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus responds to a man who wants his brother to share his inheritance with him. “Take care to guard against all greed,” Jesus tells the crowd, “for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions” (Lk. 12:15).

The Holy Father noted that rather than entering into the details of the man’s situation, he “goes to the root of the divisions caused by the possession of things”: covetousness.

“What is covetousness? It is the unbridled greed for possessions, always desiring to be rich,” the pope said, speaking to pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square before the weekly recitation of the Angelus.

“This is an illness that destroys people, because the hunger for possessions creates an addiction. Above all, those who have a lot are never content, they always want more, and only for themselves. But this way, the person is no longer free: he or she is attached to, a slave, of what paradoxically was meant to serve them so as to live freely and serenely,” Pope Francis warned.

“Rather than being served by money, the person becomes a servant of money.”

The pope identified covetousness as a “dangerous illness for society as well,” pointing to the greed that fuels wars and in particular the “scandal” of the arms trade.

“And so, let us try to ask ourselves: Where am I at with my detachment from possessions, from wealth?” the pope asked. “Do I complain about what I lack, or do I know how to be content with what I have? In the name of money or opportunity, am I tempted to sacrifice relationships and sacrifice time with others? And yet again, does it happen that I sacrifice legality and honesty on the altar of covetousness?”

Pope Francis reflected on the dangers of coveting wealth and possessions during his Angelus reflection in St. Peter's Square in Rome on July 31, 2022. Vatican Media
Pope Francis reflected on the dangers of coveting wealth and possessions during his Angelus reflection in St. Peter's Square in Rome on July 31, 2022. Vatican Media

The pope next shifted to focus on the “richness” of God.

“And so, we might think, so, no one should desire to get rich? Certainly, you can; rather, it is right to want it. It is beautiful to become rich, but rich according to God! God is the richest of anyone,” he said.

“He is rich in compassion, in mercy. His riches do not impoverish anyone, do not create quarrels and divisions. It is a richness that knows how to give, to distribute, to share. Brothers and sisters, accumulating material goods is not enough to live well, for Jesus says also that life does not consist in what one possesses (see Lk 12:15). It depends, instead, on good relationships – with God, with others, and even with those who have less.”

The pope continued: “So, let us ask ourselves: For myself, how do I want to get rich? Do I want to get rich according to God or according to my covetousness? And, returning to the topic of inheritance, what legacy do I want to leave? Money in the bank, material things, or happy people around me, good works that are not forgotten, people that I have helped to grow and mature?”

Pope Francis concluded by asking Our Lady, who shared in God’s riches, to “help us understand what the true goods of life are, the ones that last forever.”

Following his reflection, the pope thanked all those who assisted him on his trip to Canada, while assuring those suffering from the war in Ukraine that they remain in his prayers.

"Also, during this journey, I did not cease praying for the suffering and battered Ukrainian people, asking God to free them from the scourge of war," Pope Francis said.

"If one looked at what is happening objectively, considering the harm that war brings every day to those people, and even to the entire world, the only reasonable thing to do would be to stop and negotiate," he added. "May wisdom inspire concrete steps toward peace."

Full text: Pope Francis’ in-flight press conference from Canada

Pope Francis speaking to journalists on the flight from Canada to Rome, Italy, on July 30, 2022 / Vatican Media

Rome Newsroom, Jul 30, 2022 / 04:53 am (CNA).

Pope Francis returned to Rome on Saturday after a week-long trip to Canada. During the July 24 to 30 trip, the pope visited Edmonton, Québec, and Iqaluit on what he called a “penitential pilgrimage” to apologize to the country’s indigenous communities.

Please read below for CNA’s full transcript of Pope Francis’ press conference on the flight from Iqaluit, Canada to Italy.

Pope Francis: Good evening and thank you for your accompaniment, for your work here. I know you have worked hard, and thank you for the company. Thank you.

Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See press office: Good, the first question tonight is from Ka'nhehsíio Deer, a Canadian journalist of Inuit origin.

Ka'nhehsíio Deer, CBC Radio [in English]: My name is Ka'nhehsíio Deer. I am a reporter with CBC Indigenous. As a descendant of a residential school survivor, I know that survivors and families want to see concrete action in your apology, including rescinding the "doctrine of discovery." Given that it is still ingrained in the Constitution and legal systems within Canada and the United States, where indigenous people continue to be dispossessed and disempowered, was it a missed opportunity to issue a statement during your trip to Canada?

Pope Francis: On the last part, I don’t understand the problem.

Ka'nhehsíio Deer: It’s just that indigenous people still today are being dispossessed and disempowered with, you know, like that their land was taken away from them because of these papal bulls and the concept of the doctrine of discovery. 

When I talk to indigenous people, they talk a lot about how when people came to colonize the Americas, there was this  — the doctrine of discovery was something that gave the concept that indigenous peoples of those lands were inferior to Catholics, and that is how Canada and the United States became countries. 

Pope Francis: Thank you for the question. I think this is a problem of every colonialism, every — even today's ideological colonizations have the same pattern. Those who do not enter their path have ways that are inferior. But I want to elaborate on this. They were considered not only inferior. Some somewhat crazy theologian wondered if they had souls. 

When John Paul II went to Africa to the port where the slaves were boarded, he made a sign for us to come to understand the drama, the criminal drama. Those people were thrown into the ship in dire conditions, and then they were slaves in America. It is true that there were voices that spoke out, like Bartolomé de las Casas for example or Peter Claver, but they were the minority.

The consciousness of human equality came slowly. And I say consciousness because in the unconscious, there is still something. Always we have — allow me to say — like a colonialist attitude of reducing their culture to ours. It is something that happens to us in our developed way of life; sometimes we lose the values that they have.

For example, indigenous peoples have a great value which is the value of harmony with creation. And at least some I know express it in the phrase "living well." That does not mean, as we Westerners understand it, to spend it well or to live the sweet life, no. To live well is to cherish harmony, and that, to me, is the great value of the indigenous peoples: harmony. We are used to reducing everything to the mind. And instead, the personality of the original peoples — I am speaking generally — they know how to express themselves in three languages: that of the head, that of the heart, and that of the hands. But all of them together. And they know how to have this language with creation. So then this accelerated developmental progressivism, a little bit exaggerated, a little bit neurotic, that we have — I'm not speaking against development, development is good, but that anxiety of development, development, development is not good … Look, one of the things that our super-developed commercial civilization has lost is the capacity for poetry. Indigenous peoples have that poetic capacity. I'm not idealizing.

Then, this doctrine of colonization, truly, it is bad and unfair. Even today, the same is used — with silken gloves maybe — but it is used. For example, some bishops in some countries have said: "But our country, when it asks for credit from an international organization, they put conditions on us, even legislative, colonialist conditions. To give credit, they make you change your way of life a little bit.” Going back to our colonization, let's say of America, the colonization of the British, French, Spanish and Portuguese, which are four ... there has always been that danger, indeed that mentality of “we are superior, and these indigenous people don't count.” And that is serious. That's why we have to work on what you say. To go back and sanitize, let's say, what was done wrong, in the knowledge that even today, the same colonialism exists. 

Think, for example, of a case, which is universal, and I dare to say it, think of the case of the Rohingya in Myanmar: they have no right to citizenship, they are inferior. Even today. [In English] Thank you very much.

Bruni: The second question, Your Holiness, comes from another Canadian journalist, Brittany Hobson.

Brittany Hobson, The Canadian Press: Good evening Pope Francis, My name is Brittany Hobson. I am a reporter with the Canadian press. You have often spoken on the need to speak clearly, honestly, forthrightly, and with parrhesia. You know that Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission described the residential school system as “cultural genocide.” This has since been amended to just “genocide.” Those who were listening to your apologies the past week did express disappointment that the word genocide was not used. Would you use those words and accept that members of the Church participated in genocide?

Pope Francis: It's true, I didn't use the word because it didn't occur to me, but I described the genocide and asked for pardon, forgiveness for this work that is genocidal. For example, I condemned this too: Taking away children and changing culture, changing mentalities, changing traditions, changing a race, let's say, a whole culture. Yes, it's a technical word, genocide, but I didn't use it because it didn't come to mind, but I described it. It is true; yes, it’s genocide. Yes, you all, be calm. You can say that I said that, yes, that it was genocide. [In English] Yes. Yes. Thank you.

Bruni: Another question comes from Valentina Alazraki; you know her well, from Televisa. 

Valentina Alazraki, Televisa: Pope Francis, good evening. We assume that this trip to Canada was also a test, a test for your health, for your -- what you said this morning -- physical limitations. So we wanted to know what — after this week — you can tell us about your future travels. Whether you want to continue traveling like this, whether there will be trips that you can't do because of these limitations, or whether maybe you think that after this week that a knee surgery could help resolve the situation so you can travel like before?

Pope Francis: Thank you. I don't know. I don't think I can move at the same pace of travel as before. I think that at my age and with this limitation, I have to cut back a little bit to be able to serve the Church or, on the contrary, think about the possibility of stepping aside. This is nothing strange. This is not a catastrophe. You can change the pope. You can change, no problem. But I think I have to limit myself a little bit with these efforts.

Knee surgery is not planned in my case. The experts say yes, but there is the whole problem of anesthesia. Ten months ago, I underwent more than six hours of anesthesia, and there are still traces. You don't play, you don't mess around with anesthesia. And that's why you think it's not entirely convenient. ... But I'm going to try to continue to go on trips and be close to people, because I think it is a way of service, closeness, but more than that I don't get to say. Hopefully. There is no visit to Mexico [scheduled] yet, is there?

Alazraki: No, no. And in Kazakhstan? And if you go to Kazakhstan, shouldn't you maybe go to Ukraine, even as you go to Kazakhstan?

Pope Francis: I said I would like to go to Ukraine. Let's see now what I find when I get home. For the moment, I would like to go to Kazakhstan; it’s a quiet trip without a lot of movement, it’s a congress of religions. But for the time being, everything stands.

Because I need to go to South Sudan before Congo, because it is a trip with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the bishop of the Church of Scotland, all three together as all three of us did the retreat two years ago. And then the Congo, but it will be next year because of the rainy season -- we'll see. I have all the goodwill, but let's see what the leg says.

Bruni: The next question, Holiness, is from Caroline Pigozzi of Paris Match.

Caroline Pigozzi, Paris Match: Good evening, Holy Father. This morning you met at the archbishopric as you do every time you go to a country with local members of the Society of Jesus, your family. Nine years ago, returning from World Youth Day in Brazil, I had asked you on July 28, 2013, if you still felt like a Jesuit. The answer was positive. 

On Dec. 4, you explained after seeing the Jesuits of Greece in Athens, "When one starts a process, one must let it develop, let a work grow, and then retire. Every Jesuit has to do that. No work belongs to him because it belongs to the Lord." Holy Father, could this statement also one day apply to a Jesuit pope?

Pope Francis: Yes.

Pigozzi: Does that mean you could retire like the Jesuits?

Pope Francis: Yes, yes. It is a vocation.

Pigozzi: To be a pope or to be a Jesuit?

Pope Francis: Let the Lord say. The Jesuit tries to  — he tries, he doesn’t always, he can’t — do the Lord’s will. The Jesuit pope must do the same. When the Lord speaks, if the Lord says go ahead, go ahead. If the Lord says go to the corner, you go to the corner. It is the Lord who teaches ...

Pigozzi: By what you say, you mean that you are waiting to die?

Pope Francis: But all of us are awaiting death …

Pigozzi: But I mean: will you not retire first?

Pope Francis: Whatever the Lord says. The Lord can tell me to resign. It is the Lord who commands.

One thing about St. Ignatius, and this is important. When someone was tired or sick, St. Ignatius would dispense him from prayer, but he never dispensed them from examination of conscience — twice a day, a look at what has happened … It's not about sins or no sins, no. It is how the spirit moved me today. Our vocation, he said, is to search for what happened today.  If I — this is a hypothetical — I see that the Lord is telling me something, I do a discernment to see what the Lord is saying and it may be that the Lord wants to throw me in the corner. He is in charge. 

This I think is the religious way of life of a Jesuit: Being in spiritual discernment to make decisions, to choose ways of working, to discern compromises as well. St. Ignatius in this was very nuanced because it was his own experience of spiritual discernment that led him to conversion. And the Spiritual Exercises are really a school of discernment. By vocation, a Jesuit must be a man of discernment. Discerning situations, discerning conscience, discerning decisions to be made. And for that he must be open to whatever the Lord asks of him. This is kind of our spirituality.

Pigozzi: But do you feel more like a pope or more like a Jesuit?

Pope Francis: I have never made that measurement. I feel I am a servant of the Lord with a Jesuit mentality. There is no papal spirituality; that does not exist. Each pope brings forth his own spirituality. Think of John Paul II with that beautiful Marian spirituality he had. He had it before and as pope. Think of so many popes who have brought their own spirituality. The papacy is not a spirituality; it is a job, a function, a service, but each one brings to it his own spirituality, with his own graces, his own faithfulness and also his own sins. But there is no papal spirituality. That is why there is no comparison between Jesuit spirituality and papal spirituality because the latter does not exist. Do you understand? Thank you!

Bruni: Another question, Your Holiness, comes from a German journalist, Severina Bartonischek, from a Catholic news agency in Germany.

Severina Bartonitschek, KNA: Good evening. Holy Father, yesterday you also spoke about the fraternity in the Church, about a community that knows how to listen and do dialogue, that promotes a good quality of relationships. A few days ago there was a statement from the Holy See on the German “Synodal Way” without a signature. Do you think this way of communication contributes to dialogue, or is it an obstacle to dialogue?

Pope Francis: First of all, that statement was made by the Secretariat of State. It was a mistake not to [sign it] below. I think it said: communiqué from the Secretariat of State, but I'm not sure. It was a mistake not to sign it as a communiqué of the Secretary of State. But it is a mistake of the office, not of ill will.

On the [German] “Synodal Way”, I wrote a letter, and I did so by myself … a month of prayer, reflection, consultations ... and I said everything I had to say about the “Synodal Way”. More than that I will not say. That is the papal magisterium on the “Synodal Way”, that letter I wrote [three] years ago. I bypassed the Curia, because I didn't do consultations, or anything ... I did my own way, even as a pastor for a Church that is looking for a way, as a brother, as a father, as a believer. And this is my message. I know it's not easy, but it's all in that letter.

Bruni: The next question is from Ignazio Ingrao of Rai1.

Ignazio Ingrao, Rai1: Your Holiness, Italy is going through a difficult time that also causes concern internationally. There is an economic crisis, pandemic, war, and now we also find ourselves without a government. You are the primate of Italy. In the telegram you wrote to President [Sergio] Mattarella on his birthday, you spoke of a country marked by not a few difficulties and called for crucial choices. Your Holiness, how did you experience the fall of Mario Draghi?

Pope Francis: First of all, I do not want to meddle in Italian domestic politics. Second, no one can say that President Draghi was not a man of high international standing, he was president of the [European Central] Bank. He had a good career, let's say. And then I only asked one question to one of my staff: how many governments has Italy had in this century? He told me: twenty. That is my answer.

Ingrao: What appeal do you make to political forces in view of these difficult elections?

Pope Francis: Responsibility. Civic responsibility.

Bruni: Thank you, Your Holiness. Thank you, Ignatius. And the next question is from Claire Giangravé of Religion News Service.

Claire Giangravé, Religion News Service: Hello Holy Father, good evening. Many Catholics, but also many theologians, believe that the development of Church doctrine regarding contraceptives is necessary. Even it appears that your predecessor, John Paul I, thought that a total ban needed reconsideration. What are your thoughts on this? Are you open to a reevaluation in this regard, or is there a possibility for a couple to consider contraceptives?

Pope Francis: I understand. This is very timely. But know that dogma, morality, is always in a path of development, but development in the same direction. 

To use one thing that is clear, I think I've said it other times here, for the development of a question either moral — for theological development let's say — or dogmatic, there is a rule that is very clear and illuminating, which I said another time. [It is] the one that Vincent de Lérins made in the 10th century, more or less, [he was a] French [saint]. He says that true doctrine in order to go forward, to develop, must not be quiet, it develops ut annis consolidetur, dilatetur tempore, sublimetur aetate.

That is, it consolidates with time, it expands and consolidates, and becomes more steady, but is always ‘progressing.’ That is why the duty of theologians is research, theological reflection. You cannot do theology with a ‘no’ in front of it. Then the magisterium will be the one to say no if it has gone too far, come back … but theological development must be open, because that's what theologians are for, and the magisterium must help to understand the limits.

On the issue of contraception, I know there is a publication out on this issue and other marriage issues. These are the proceedings of a congress and in a congress there are hypotheses, then they discuss among themselves and make proposals. We have to be clear: those who made this congress did their duty because they tried to move forward in doctrine, but in an ecclesial sense, not out, as I said with that rule of St. Vincent of Lerins. … And then the magisterium will say: yes, it is good [or] it is not good. 

But so many things have changed. Think, for example, about atomic weapons: today it is officially declared that the use and possession of atomic weapons is immoral. Think about the death penalty. Before the death penalty, yes, but ... today I can tell that we are close to immorality there because the moral conscience has developed well. To be clear: when dogma and morality develop, it is fine, but in the direction of the three rules of Vincent of Lerins, I think this is very clear.

A Church that does not develop its thought in an ecclesial sense is a Church that goes backwards. And this is the problem of so many who call themselves traditional today. They are not traditional, they are “indietrists,” they are going backwards without roots — “That’s the way it has always been done,” “That’s the way it was done in the last century.” Indietrism [looking backward] is sin because it does not go forward with the Church. And instead, someone described tradition — I think I said it in one of the speeches — as the living faith of the dead and instead for these “indietrists,” who call themselves “traditionalists,” it is the dead faith of the living.

Tradition is the root of inspiration to go forward in the Church, always these roots, and “indietrism,” looking backward, is always closed. It is important to understand well the role of tradition, which is always open like the roots of the tree. The tree grows like that, no. A composer had a very beautiful phrase — Gustav Mahler — said that tradition in this sense is the guarantee of the future, it is not a museum piece. If you conceive tradition as closed, this is not Christian tradition. Always it is the root substance that takes you forward forward forward. That's why what you say above thinking, carrying forward faith and morals, while going in the direction of the roots, of the substance goes well with these three rules I mentioned of Vincent of Lerins.

Bruni: There is another question from Eva Fernandez of Cope.

Pope Francis: She is good.

Eva Fernandez, Cope: Holy Father, at the end of August we will have a consistory. Lately many people have been asking if you have thought about resigning. Don't worry, we won't ask this time. But we are curious: Holy Father, have you ever thought of what characteristics you would like your successor to have? Thank you.

Pope Francis: This is the work of the Holy Spirit. I would never dare to think that. The Holy Spirit can do this better than me and better than all of us because He inspires the decisions of the pope, always inspires because He is alive in the Church. You cannot conceive of the Church without the Holy Spirit. He is the one who makes the differences, who makes the noise — think about the morning of Pentecost — and then leads to harmony. It is important to talk about harmony rather than unity. Unity, but harmony, not as a fixed thing. The Holy Spirit gives a progressive harmony that goes on.

I like what St. Basil says about the Holy Spirit: Ipse Armonia Est, he is harmony. He is harmony because first he makes noise with the differences of charisms. Let us leave this work to the Holy Spirit.

On the topic of my resignation, I would like to thank a nice article that one of you wrote on all the signs that could lead to a resignation and all the signs that are appearing. And that is a nice journalistic work by a journalist who then ultimately gives an opinion. But to see those signs as well, not just the statements, that subterranean language, and other signs as well. That is being able to read signals or at least make an effort to interpret that it may be this or it may be that. This is good work and I thank you very much.

Bruni: Now perhaps one last question from Phoebe Nathanson of ABC.

Phoebe Nathanson, ABC: I know you've had a lot of questions like this, but I wanted to ask: At this time, with the health difficulties and everything, has the idea occurred to you that it may be time to retire? Have you had any problems that made you think about this? Were there any difficult moments that made you think about this?

Pope Francis: The door is open. It's one of the normal options, but up to today I haven't knocked on that door … I haven't felt like thinking about that possibility. But maybe that doesn't mean the day after tomorrow I will start thinking. But right now I honestly haven't. 

It's true that this trip was a bit of a test; you can't take trips in this condition. You have to maybe change your style a bit, lessen, pay off the debt of the trips you still have to take, rearrange. But the Lord will say. The door is open, that's true.

Before I take my leave I would like to talk about something that is very important to me. The trip to Canada was very much related to the figure of St. Anne, and I said some things about women, but especially about the elderly, mothers about grandmothers, and I emphasized one thing that is clear: faith should be transmitted in dialect, and the dialect, I said it clearly, the dialect of grandmothers. We received the faith in that female dialect form. And that is very important. The role of the grandmother, in faith transmission and faith development.

It is the mother or grandmother who teaches how to pray, it is the mother or grandmother who explains the first things that the child does not understand about the faith. I can tell that this dialectal transmission of faith is feminine. Someone may say to me: but theologically, how do you explain it?

Before I take my leave I would like to talk about something that is very important to me. The trip to Canada was very much related to the figure of St. Anne, and I said some things about women, but especially about the elderly, mothers about grandmothers. And I emphasized one thing that is clear: faith should be transmitted in dialect, and the dialect, I said it clearly, the accent of grandmothers. We received the faith in that form of female dialect. And that is very important: The role of the grandmother, in faith transmission and faith development.

It is the mother or grandmother who teaches how to pray. It is the mother or grandmother who explains the first things that the child does not understand about the faith. I can tell that this vernacular transmission of faith is feminine. Someone may say to me: but theologically how do you explain it?

I will say: The one who transmits the faith is the Church, and the Church is a woman. The Church is bride. The Church is not male. The Church is female, and we have to enter into this thought of the Church as woman, the Church as mother, which is more important than any macho ministerial fantasy or any macho power. The Church is mater, the motherhood of the Church, that which is the figure of the Mother of the Lord.

It is important in this sense to emphasize the importance of this maternal dialect. I discovered this by reading, for example, the martyrdom of the Maccabees: two three times it said that the mother gave soul in maternal dialect. Faith has to be transmitted in dialect and that dialect is spoken by women, and that is the great joy of the Church because the Church is a woman. The Church is a bride, and this I wanted to say clearly thinking of St. Anne. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for listening, and have a good trip.

Pope Francis on birth control: Can the teaching of the Church on contraception change?

Pope Francis speaks during an in-flight press conference from Malta, April 3, 2022. / Vatican Media.

Rome Newsroom, Jul 30, 2022 / 04:38 am (CNA).

Can the Church’s teaching on birth control change? During Pope Francis’ return flight from Canada, a journalist asked him about the possibility of a development in the Church’s teaching on contraception.

“This is very timely. But know that dogma, morality, is always in a path of development, but development in the same direction,” Pope Francis responded on July 30.

The pope went on to say that he thinks that the development of Catholic moral doctrine, in general, is fine but recommended in particular that it follows the rules outlined by the 5th-century theologian St. Vincent of Lérins.

Pope Francis explained that St. Vincent of Lérins taught “that true doctrine in order to go forward, to develop, must not be quiet, it develops ut annis consolidetur, dilatetur tempore, sublimetur aetate.”

“That is, it consolidates with time, it expands and consolidates, and becomes more steady, but is always ‘progressing.’ That is why the duty of theologians is research, theological reflection. You cannot do theology with a ‘no’ in front of it … the magisterium will be the one to say no,” the pope added.

Francis also addressed the recent controversy over a book published by the Vatican’s publishing house, which discussed “the possible legitimacy of contraception in certain cases.”

The book “Theological Ethics of Life: Scripture, Tradition, and Practical Challenges” was a 528-page synthesis of a theological seminar sponsored by the Pontifical Academy for Life in 2021.

Pope Francis said: “On the issue of contraception, I know there is a publication out on this issue and other marriage issues.”

“These are the proceedings of a congress and in a congress there are hypotheses, then they discuss among themselves and make proposals. We have to be clear: those who made this congress did their duty because they tried to move forward in doctrine, but in an ecclesial sense, not out, as I said with that rule of St. Vincent of Lerins.”

On the subject of birth control, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).”

St. Paul VI issued Humanae Vitae, the landmark encyclical reaffirming Church teaching against contraception, on July 25, 1968.

In the encyclical, Paul VI warned of serious social consequences if the widespread use of contraceptives became accepted. He predicted that it would lead to infidelity, the lowering of morality, a loss of respect for women, and the belief that humans have “unlimited dominion” over the body.

Pope Francis’ press conference on the papal plane touched on many topics, including his potential retirement and his response to the German “Synodal Way.” Pope Francis also described the forced removal of Indigenous children from their families and their treatment in Canada’s residential school system as a form of “cultural genocide.”

During his week-long journey to Canada, the pope traveled to Edmonton, Québec, and Iqaluit on what he called a “penitential pilgrimage” to apologize to the country’s indigenous communities.

Upon his arrival in Rome on Saturday morning, the pope went to Rome’s Basilica of St. Mary Major to spend a moment in prayer before an icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Pope Francis: Canada's residential schools system was 'cultural genocide'

Pope Francis prays with journalists on a papal flight August 14, 2014. / Alan Holdren/CNA

CNA Newsroom, Jul 30, 2022 / 03:09 am (CNA).

Pope Francis has agreed with the view that the forced removal of Indigenous children from their families and their treatment in Canada’s residential school system was a form of “cultural genocide.”

Speaking to journalists on the papal plane on July 30, the pope explained that he had not used the term “genocide” during his public apologies for past abuses perpetrated by Catholics in the system because it had not come to mind.

Canada’s residential school system, to which Pope Francis referred, ran for more than 100 years. It worked to stamp out indigenous culture and language systematically, often by removing children from their families by force. Catholic organizations ran at least 60% of the government-funded boarding schools.

The 85-year-old pontiff spoke at the end of a week-long trip to Canada in which he traveled to Edmonton, Québec, and Iqaluit on what he called a “penitential pilgrimage” to apologize and repeatedly express his shame and sorrow to the country’s indigenous communities for the role the Catholic Church played in the system.

In 2015, the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission concluded that the country’s residential schools system constituted a “cultural genocide.”

During the in-flight press conference on his return flight to Rome from Iqaluit, Francis said while he had not used the word genocide, he indeed had described one. “I apologized; I asked forgiveness for this work, which was genocide.”

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which ran from 2008-2015, concluded that thousands of children died while attending “Indian Residential Schools”, and called for action on 94 points

The papal apologies were one of the commission's four points addressed to the Catholic Church. 

In a brief address Friday to delegates representing nine indigenous nations of Canada, Pope Francis said he was returning home “greatly enriched” after his weeklong journey.

“I have come as a pilgrim, despite my physical limitations, to take further steps forward with you and for you. I do this so that progress may be made in the search for truth, so that the processes of healing and reconciliation may continue, and so that seeds of hope can keep being sown for future generations — indigenous and non-indigenous alike — who desire to live together, in harmony, as brothers and sisters,” the pope said. 

Pope Francis says he has 'said all he has to say' in 2019 letter to German Catholics about the 'Synodal Way'

Pope Francis speaking with journalists on the papal plane on July 30. / Vatican Media

CNA Newsroom, Jul 30, 2022 / 02:22 am (CNA).

The latest Vatican intervention against the German "Synodal Way" was published by the Secretariat of State, but he himself has said “everything he had to say” about the process in his own letter to German Catholics, Pope Francis told journalists on the papal plane on July 30.

During an in-flight press conference on his return flight to Rome from Iqaluit, Canada, Francis said he thought the latest statement from the Holy See was “a communiqué of the Secretariat of State.” 

The fact that the Holy See’s statement was not signed otherwise was not done out of "ill will," the pope stressed, in light of “astonished” reactions from people responsible for the controversial German process. 

“The ‘Synodal Way’ in Germany does not have the power to compel bishops and the faithful to adopt new forms of governance and new orientations of doctrine and morals,” the Vatican said in its statement published a week ago.

The Holy See deemed it “necessary to clarify” this, to “safeguard the freedom of the People of God and the exercise of the episcopal ministry." 

The Vatican warned: “It would not be permissible to introduce new official structures or doctrines in dioceses before an agreement had been reached at the level of the universal Church, which would constitute a violation of ecclesial communion and a threat to the unity of the Church.”

In response, the presidents of the German Bishops’ Conference and the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) said they were stunned by the intervention.

“In our understanding, a synodal Church is something else!” Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg and Irme Stetter-Karp declared. “It is not a good example of communication within the Church if statements are published which are not signed by name.”

On July 27, the Vatican's "foreign minister" said he was "very concerned" about the Church in Germany, CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner, reported

Without mentioning the “Synodal Way” by name, Archbishop Paul Gallagher explained this impacted the work of the Secretariat of State. “It influences how the German state sees the Holy See and the Catholic Church — and vice versa, how we see Germany and also the German Church."

On the papal flight back from Canada on July 29, the Holy Father stressed that he had “already said all he had to say” on the subject in his 2019 letter to German Catholics.

Pope Francis warned of disunity in the 5,700-word letter. He also cautioned German Catholics to avoid the "sin of secularization and a secular mindset against the Gospel.”

"Let us beware of the temptation of the father of lies and division, the master of division, who in driving the search for an apparent good or an answer to a particular situation, ultimately dismembers the body of God's holy and faithful people!"

On the flight back from Canada, the Pope commented, "On the 'Synodal Way,' I wrote a letter, and I wrote it alone. After a month of prayer, reflection, and consultations. I said everything I had to say on the 'Synodal Way.' I do not want to say more."

Francis continued, "This is the papal magisterium on the 'Synodal Way.'"

He said he had bypassed the Curia with the letter at the time, as a shepherd of a Church seeking a way, as a brother, father, and believer. "And this is my message. I know it is not easy, but it is all in this letter."

In the letter, the pope explained that reforms are about building up the people of God "instead of looking for immediate results with hasty (...) consequences that are fleeting because of a lack of deepening and maturation or because they do not correspond to the vocation that is given to us."

In addition, in light of the "erosion" and "decline of faith" in Germany, the pope called the faithful to conversion, prayer, and fasting — and he urged them to proclaim the Gospel.

That is the first and proper mission of the Church, thus must also be the goal of a "synodal journey," the pontiff exhorted in his historic letter.

He warned against "modernization" that was independent of the mission of the Church. He also warned of “reforms” that do not have evangelization and the revival of the sacraments as their goal.

"God deliver us from a worldly Church under spiritual or pastoral draperies! This suffocating worldliness undergoes healing when one tastes the pure air of the Holy Spirit, who frees us from revolving around ourselves, hidden in a religious pretense above godless emptiness," the pope told German Catholics in 2019.

On July 30, 2022, the pope concluded a week-long trip to Canada in which he traveled to Edmonton, Québec, and Iqaluit on what he called a “penitential pilgrimage” to apologize to the country’s indigenous communities.

Pope Francis: ‘The Lord will say’ when it is time to retire

Pope Francis speaking to journalists on the flight from Canada to Rome, Italy on July 30, 2022 / Vatican Media

Rome, Italy, Jul 30, 2022 / 01:47 am (CNA).

Pope Francis said Saturday that he is “open” to the possibility of retiring if he discerns that it is God’s will.

“I think that at my age and with this limitation I have to cut back a little bit to be able to serve the Church or on the contrary think about the possibility of stepping aside,” Pope Francis told journalists on the papal plane on July 30.

During an in-flight press conference on his return flight to Rome from Iqaluit, Canada, Francis said that “the Lord will say” when it is time to resign.

“The door is open. It's one of the normal options, but up to today I haven't knocked on that door,” the pope said.

“I haven't felt like thinking about that possibility. But maybe that doesn't mean the day after tomorrow I will start thinking,” he added.

The 85-year-old pope was asked multiple times during the press conference about whether he would resign in light of the physical health limitations he has faced in recent months.

Francis told one journalist in response: “Whatever the Lord says. The Lord can tell me to resign. It is the Lord who commands.”

He explained that “discernment is key in a Jesuit’s vocation” and that means that “he must be open to whatever the Lord asks of him.”

Pope Francis also acknowledged that in the meantime he may need to slow down a bit with his travel schedule due to his health.

“I don't think I can move at the same pace of travel as before,” the pope said.

“Knee surgery is not planned in my case. The experts say yes, but there is the whole problem of anesthesia. Ten months ago I underwent more than six hours of anesthesia and there are still traces. You don't play, you don't mess around with anesthesia,” he said.

The pope added that he will try to continue to go on trips to be close to people “because I think it is a way of service.”

In particular, Francis highlighted that he would “like to go to Ukraine.” He said that he expects his planned trip to Kazakhstan in September to attend the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions to be a calm visit.

The pope spoke at the end of a week-long journey to Canada in which he traveled to Edmonton, Québec, and Iqaluit on what he called a “penitential pilgrimage” to apologize to the country’s indigenous communities.

‘Overstepping the mark': Is the Order of Malta in serious jeopardy?

Cardinal Silvano Maria Tomasi. / Martin Micallef/Maltese Association Order of Malta via Flickr.

Rome Newsroom, Jul 29, 2022 / 09:17 am (CNA).

The Order of Malta is unique and not only a spiritual body. It is a sovereign entity under international law – with its own passports, diplomatic relationships, and permanent observer status at the United Nations. 

But how sovereign is the order, following the repeated interventions by Pope Francis and his delegate? And what is at stake for an organization that is present in 120 countries, with over 2,000 projects and more than 120,000 volunteers and medical staff, providing emergency relief in many developing areas and crisis zones?

With a letter dated July 25, 2022, Cardinal Silvano Maria Tomasi, Papal delegate to the order of Malta, and Fra’ John Dunlap, papal nominated Lieutenant, assigned a series of professed knight to the Grand Priories order, without giving a notification of this decision to the Grand Commander, nor getting the approval of the Sovereign Council.

Cardinal Tomasi’s move is the last of a series that have jeopardized the Order of Malta’s own sovereignty.

Cardinal Tomasi’s letter frames the decision within the special powers Pope Francis has given to Cardinal Tomasi on October 25, 2021. These powers were confirmed in the Pope Francis’ decree for the appointment of the Lieutenant of Grand Master of June 13, 2022.

Both the Pope Francis decisions represented a Pope Francis’ breach in the Order of Malta’s sovereignty. 

Pope Francis appointed a new head of the Order of Malta even before the funeral of its previous leader Fra’ Marco Luzzago, who died suddenly on June 7.

The Canadian-born lawyer Fra’ John T. Dunlap will serve as the Lieutenant of the Grand Master, a role that Luzzago held for two years. Dunlap was sworn in on June 14, the day of Luzzago’s funeral.

The Lieutenant of the Grand Master is normally elected for a one-year term. But in 2021, Pope Francis extended Luzzago’s tenure indefinitely until the election of a new Grand Master of the order, a position traditionally held for life.

By direct order of Pope Francis, Dunlap is the new Lieutenant of the Grand Master and is thus working closely with the pope’s special delegate, Cardinal Silvano Maria Tomasi.

The delegate also advised to proceed with the elected governmental body, the Sovereign Council. 

In both cases, the Pope strongly intervened in the Order of Malta’s governmental affairs, thus jeopardizing its sovereignty. It is true that the Order of Malta is a monastic order, and that it derives its sovereignty by Papal concession. It is also true that the Order has its autonomy and independence as a sovereign entity. As a monastic order, it is subjected to the Pope in as much as the knights who live as friars are concerned.

It is worth remembering that the Order of Malta has three classes of Knights. 

The First Class consists of the Knights of Justice or Professed Knights, as well as Professed Conventual Chaplains. The Knights of this class take the religious vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. They are defined as religious but not required to live in community. They also benefit from a dispense of their vows of poverty, including the recently Profess consecrated by Cardinal Tomasi.

The Second Class is composed of Knights and Dames in Obedience, who promise to obey their superiors and strive for Christian perfection in the spirit of the order.

The Third Class comprises lay members who make neither vows nor promises but are committed to living a fully Catholic life according to the order’s principles.

Only First Class knights who descend from a family of four quarters of nobility are eligible to be elected as the Grand Master, the order’s religious superior and sovereign. This provision means that fewer than 40 people in the order can be considered for the position.

The Grand Master oversees the order with the help of a body called the Sovereign Council, whose members are elected for five-year terms by the order’s General Chapter.

Members of the Sovereign Council include the influential figure of the Grand Chancellor, who oversees the order’s 133 diplomatic missions, and the Grand Hospitaller, responsible for the order’s extensive humanitarian initiatives.

The order has three different types of national institutions spread around the world: six grand priories, six sub-priories, and 48 local associations.

Those do all the works, which have been blossoming over the years under the management of knights of the second and third Class, where all the professional talents are available. The first class comprises less than 40 members, with a majority above 70 years of age. Whereas the second and third class amount to 13,500 Members.

Cardinal Tomasi directly intervened with the Grand Priories and nominated new members and heads of the Grand Priories, which normally are in fact elected.

In a letter dated July 25, 2022, the Papal delegate said that the extraordinary situation of the governance of the priories had “come to an end,” and that the current “presence of professed knights with solemn vows” would allow “to return to fully live the religious charism of the order.” 

Tomasi also wrote that Professed Knights, in several meetings, confirmed to be “fully available” to take the commitment of running the grand priories. 

The papal delegate then went on and appointed the head and members of the Grand Priories of England, Rome, Naples and Sicily, Bohemia and Austria.

Cardinal Tomasi letter also required the new Grand Priories to establish — by the end of September — their assembly to enable elections. 

The Papal delegate letter shows a strong will to bring forward the reforms as planned, mostly by him and his working team, as no agreement has been reached on a draft with the elected bodies of the order.

Cardinal-designate Gianfranco Ghirlanda SJ has been working on the draft of the new constitution along with Tomasi. Pope Francis received the two in a private audience on June 11. 

The Jesuit maintains that authority in the Order of Malta derives from religious consecration. This idea is valid only if the order is considered primarily as a spiritual body. The emphasis on the order’s religious character could arguably jeopardize its sovereignty, as it would be controlled by the head of another state, i.e., the Vatican City State. Hence vastly diminishing the efficiency of its works on the ground.

The actions undertaken so far, both by the Pope and Tomasi, show that Ghirlanda’s line has been widely considered when it comes to overhauling the Constitution of the Order of Malta. 

With the decision to appoint only professed at the helm of priories, Cardinal Tomasi is enforcing that rationale. 

However, members of the Order of Malta are sincerely worried about the sweeping changes to be made – and set in stone – with the new constitution. 

CNA spoke with several knights to understand what is at stake. 

The knights underscored that they “accepted in humility the granting of extraordinary power over the Order to Cardinal Tomasi by the Holy Father.” At the same time, they felt Cardinal Tomasi, with the help of the nominated Lieutenant, was now blatantly overstepping the mark, and doing more than what the Pope’s instructions detailed. 

There is a perception that Cardinal Tomasi plans to change the composition of the Chapter General to ensure his draft constitution is adopted, by something akin to a 'false' majority, thereby securing the election of a new Grand Master and replacing the elected Sovereign Council in the middle of its elected term.

Such a series of moves, it is feared, would spell the end of the sovereignty of the Order.

By the same token, the appointment of the Professed Knights in running the works will make those lose their dynamism and be detrimental to “The poor and the sick”.

Some Knights appealed to the Pope early 2022 so that he could personally take over the reform. The Holy Father agreed and held two audiences with the combined representatives of the Order and of the Tomasi working group, to foster consensus. The Pope then surprisingly changed his mind at the death of Fra’ Luzzago in appointing the new Lieutenant, overruling the Constitution of the Order, and granting back to Cardinal Tomasi the powers he had suspended at the beginning of the year. 

According to the Knights, the Pope “should consider with cautiousness the way his Delegate is pushing things around under the very strong influence of the very same people who ill advised the Former Grand Master Festing in late 2021 in suspending illegally the Grand Chancellor of the Order.” 

The Knights went on: “Already at the time, with the help of Cardinal Burke, these people had pretended that the Pope was backing that illegal decision. This attempted coup at the time had brought Pope Francis to ask for Fra’ Mathew Festing’s resignation in January 2022.”

There is also some concern for the style adopted by Cardinal Tomasi and his team, and which by some is described as “dictatorial.” On this view, the appointment of Grand Priors through the delegate is clearly not covered by the Holy Father’s letters, which asked to take decisions with the Sovereign Council.

The Sovereign Council has not been consulted, and it seems will simply be convened on July 30 to vote to accept the priories.

Finally, Cardinal Tomasi’s intervention interferes with local national statutes, several knights asserted. By these statutes a Grand Prior has to be elected, and so the national authorities in every country might refuse to recognize a person not elected in line with local bylaws.

 

Pope Francis’ Canada trip: What is Iqaluit and why is he going there?

Two Inuit children return from school past a stop sign written in English in October 2002 in Iqaluit, northern Canada. Iqaluit is the capitol of Nunavut Territory in the Canadian Arctic. / Andre Forget/AFP via Getty Images

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jul 28, 2022 / 15:50 pm (CNA).

Pope Francis is set to fly to Iqaluit, Canada, on Friday, July 29. The city marks the last stop of the 85-year-old pontiff’s “penitential pilgrimage” to Canada before he heads back to Rome.

At the final stop of his trip to Canada, the pontiff will meet with Inuit residential school survivors and will visit Nakasuk Elementary School.

Throughout his trip, he has expressed shame and sorrow for the Catholic Church’s role in running many of the country’s government-sponsored residential schools for indigenous children. These residential schools, in place until the late 1990s, worked to stamp out aspects of native culture, language, and religious practice. Former students have described mistreatment and even abuse at the schools.

Here is what to know about Iqaluit, its lone Catholic parish, and the significance of the pope’s visit.

Where is Iqaluit?

Home to only 7,740 people, Iqaluit is the capital — and only city — of Nunavut, Canada’s northernmost and most sparsely populated territory. The city lies on a large bay on Baffin Island, one of the largest islands in the world at roughly the same size as Spain, but home to just 10,000 people. More than two-thirds of those people live in Iqaluit. 

In the local Inuit language, “Iqaluit” means “fish.” The name refers to a small village by the Koojesse Inlet in the 1940s, where many Inuit moved to work at the construction of an American airbase.

The small city houses six schools, one college, five daycares, and three gas stations. The residents speak English and Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit in the Canadian arctic. Despite the city’s polar climate and high latitude, it actually is located south of the arctic circle. It has served as an important fishing hub for the Inuit people for centuries. 

Nunavut, an Inuit-governed territory, has a population of about 40,000. Roughly 80% are Inuit. In Iqaluit, there are 3,900 Inuit.

Pope Francis will be in the air for just over five hours during his flight from Quebec City to Iqaluit.

Are there Catholics in Iqaluit?

According to the Canadian national broadcaster, the first Catholic mission in Nunavut was founded by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Chesterfield Inlet in 1912. 

There is one Catholic parish in Iqaluit: Our Lady of the Assumption. According to the pastor, Father Daniel Perreault, only a handful of his parishioners are Inuit, the Associated Press reported. The rest are from different countries on at least five different continents. His parish serves more than 100 people at Mass each Sunday.

The Diocese of Churchill-Hudson Bay, which covers most of the Nunavut territory, says it serves approximately 9,000 Catholics in 17 parishes and missions with two diocesan priests, five religious priests, and two sisters of Canadian Congregations, one permanent deacon, one religious brother, and three pastoral agents.

Bishop Anthony Wieslaw Krótki leads the diocese.

Why is Pope Francis going there?

The primary reason for the pope’s visit to Iqaluit is to have a private meeting with students of the former residential schools. More than a dozen residential schools operated in what is now Nunavut. 

From a practical standpoint, the local bishop, Krótki, has said that “Iqaluit was also chosen because of its aviation safety measures, number of hotel rooms to accommodate students and visitors, and its access to political, church and indigenous organization administration in Ottawa.”

The Diocese of Churchill-Hudson Bay was the first Canadian diocese to apologize to former students of a residential school in 1996, he also pointed out. Along with other dioceses in Canada, it contributed to the Canadian Bishops Canadian Indigenous Reconciliation Fund.

Pope Francis visits the Fraternité Saint Alphonse welcome and spirituality center, Québec, Canada, July 28, 2022. Holy See Press Office
Pope Francis visits the Fraternité Saint Alphonse welcome and spirituality center, Québec, Canada, July 28, 2022. Holy See Press Office

Did Iqaluit have residential schools?

The Diocese of Churchill-Hudson Bay was involved in the running of one school in the area for less than 15 years, Krótki told Vatican News. He spoke about the positive and negative impacts of that school.

“The educational benefits of that institution have been proven by the number of former students that became leaders in their society, government and in the area of land claims negotiations,” he said. “The school also brought some pain and suffering with young people not living at home on a year-round basis as well as some unacceptable abuses.”

What is Pope Francis’ schedule there?

According to Our Lady of the Assumption, Pope Francis will arrive at 3:50 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 29. He will depart for Rome at 6:45 p.m. During his time there, he will meet with students of the former residential schools of Canada. 

Upon arrival, the pope will head to Nakasuk Elementary School and hold a private audience at the gym, the parish said. He will then attend a public community event outside and deliver a message. Afterward, there will be a “Song of the Lord's Prayer.”

“In a few days, in the presence of Pope Francis, we will sing this prayer to God Our Father very loudly,” the pastor, Father Perreault, announced on his church’s website. “May this moment be a real opportunity for mutual gentleness and welcome for all participants, regardless of their place and culture of origin.”

Who else has visited Iqaluit?

Queen Elizabeth II and former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, the father of current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, among other officials, have visited Iqaluit in the past.

CNA is providing live updates here throughout Pope Francis’ trip.

The Vatican is asking Catholics to share their experiences of helping migrants and refugees

Pope Francis speaks at the general audience on June 22, 2022. / Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Rome Newsroom, Jul 28, 2022 / 03:16 am (CNA).

The Vatican is asking Catholics around the world to share their experiences of welcoming migrants and refugees. 

In a video message released on July 28 ahead of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis poses the question: “How can we foster an enriching encounter with migrants and refugees?”

The Vatican’s migrants and refugees office in the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has requested that people send in their responses to that question with a short video, written reflection, or photos to [email protected].

The pope’s video highlighted the testimony of a Catholic family in France who has welcomed refugees from Nigeria, Iran, and Albania into their home.

“There was an announcement made at the end of Mass inviting people to offer hospitality to asylum seekers,” said Bertrand Gorge, a father from Roquefort-Les-Pins, France. 

“It made me ask myself, ‘If we do not welcome migrants, who will?’”

Gorge said that the experience has been very enriching for his family and that they have learned a lot about other cultures and what is happening in different parts of the world.

“For our children, each time has been an absolutely amazing encounter,” he said.

The World Day of Migrants and Refugees was established by Pope Pius X in 1914. It is celebrated annually on the last Sunday in September. This year it falls on Sept. 25.

Pope Francis has already released a 1,200-word message for the 108th World Migrant and Refugee Day with the theme “Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees.”

“Migrants and refugees offer us a great opportunity for the cultural and spiritual growth of all of us,” the pope said in his latest video message.

“For this reason, it is essential to promote intercultural and interreligious dialogue and to build the future on common values.”

PHOTOS: Pope Francis arrives in Canada

Pope Francis is greeted by a representative of Canada's indigenous peoples upon his arrival in Edmonton, Alberta, on July 24, 2022 at the start of his six-day visit to Canada. / Vatican Media

Edmonton, Canada, Jul 24, 2022 / 16:04 pm (CNA).

Pope Francis arrived in Edmonton, Alberta, Sunday to begin his six-day visit to Canada.

During his cross-country journey, the 85-year-old pope is expected to meet with and apologize to indigenous Canadians for abuses committed at Church-run residential schools. The pope’s itinerary includes stops in Edmonton, Quebec City, and Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut. He returns to Rome on Saturday, July 30.

Following a flight from Rome that lasted more than 10 hours, the pope was greeted at Edmonton International Airport by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other dignitaries.

Pope Francis greeted representatives of Canada's indigenous peoples inside an airport hangar.

The pope made no public remarks at the airport, but prior to his departure Sunday he tweeted the following message: “Dear brothers and sisters of #Canada,” the pope tweeted before his departure, “I come among you to meet the indigenous peoples. I hope, with God's grace, that my penitential pilgrimage might contribute to the journey of reconciliation already undertaken. Please accompany me with #prayer.”

Pope Francis enters a hangar at Edmonton International Airport prior to meeting with representatives of Canada's indigenous peoples on July 24, 2022. Andrea Gagliarducci/CNA
Pope Francis enters a hangar at Edmonton International Airport prior to meeting with representatives of Canada's indigenous peoples on July 24, 2022. Andrea Gagliarducci/CNA
Pope Francis prepares to meet representatives of Canada's indigenous peoples inside a hangar at Edmonton International Airport on July 24, 2022. At far left it Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Andrea Gagliarducci/CNA
Pope Francis prepares to meet representatives of Canada's indigenous peoples inside a hangar at Edmonton International Airport on July 24, 2022. At far left it Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Andrea Gagliarducci/CNA
Pope Francis prepares meets representatives of Canada's indigenous peoples in the hangar of the airport in Edmonton on July 24, 2022. Vatican Media
Pope Francis prepares meets representatives of Canada's indigenous peoples in the hangar of the airport in Edmonton on July 24, 2022. Vatican Media
Pope Francis meets representatives of Canada's indigenous peoples in the hangar of the airport in Edmonton on July 24, 2022, as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (center) and other look on. Vatican Media
Pope Francis meets representatives of Canada's indigenous peoples in the hangar of the airport in Edmonton on July 24, 2022, as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (center) and other look on. Vatican Media
Pope Francis meets representatives of Canada's indigenous peoples in the hangar of the airport in Edmonton on July 24, 2022. Vatican Media
Pope Francis meets representatives of Canada's indigenous peoples in the hangar of the airport in Edmonton on July 24, 2022. Vatican Media