Pope Francis will make a pastoral visit to Canada from July 24 to 29, 2022. The Pope’s visit will provide a unique opportunity for him, once again, to listen and dialogue with Indigenous Peoples, to express his heartfelt closeness and to address the impact of colonization and the participation of the Catholic Church in the operation of residential schools throughout Canada. The papal visit will also provide an opportunity for the shepherd of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics to connect with the Catholic community in Canada.
The Holy Father first committed to visiting Canada after accepting the invitation of Canada’s Catholic Bishops in late October 2021. In March/April 2022, more than 30 Indigenous delegates representing First Nations, Métis and Inuit Elders, Knowledge Keepers, survivors of residential schools and youth spent one week in Rome, meeting privately with Pope Francis to share their stories and discuss the historical and ongoing intergenerational trauma that continues to impact Indigenous Peoples. After issuing a public apology on April 1, 2022, the Pope reiterated his desire to travel to Canada to continue the healing and reconciliation journey. This historic visit also follows the statement of apology by the Catholic Bishops of Canada to the Indigenous Peoples of this land, in 2021.