A bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Victoria apologized for the Diocese’s involvement in residential schools.
The apology from Bishop Gary Gordon came June 3, after the remains of 215 children were found at the former Kamloops Residential School.
Bishop Gordon wrote in the apology that the discovery “shines a light on a painful tragedy for which words seem inadequate to express [his] profound sorrow.”
“On behalf of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Victoria, I apologize for the harm caused due to our complicity involved in the operations of the residential schools,” wrote Gordon. “I am committed to the process of healing, reconciliation, and education regarding this tragic history.”
Bishop Gordon acknowledged the two residential schools, Christie and Kuper Island, that were managed by the Diocese of Victoria. The apology says the archival records were forwarded to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission between 2008 and 2015.
He says the Diocese of Victoria is committed to assisting First Nations communities in searching for lost loved ones and helping with mental health and counselling support for individuals and communities with the Diocese.
“We are all interconnected and we have a responsibility to accompany one another in the circle of life,” read the apology. “We humbly acknowledge the pain of the past and we accept responsibility for the role we have played in the history of residential schools.”
The full apology statement can be read here.