Pope Francis to wrap up his Canadian visit in Iqaluit today

Pope Francis in Nunavut. Credit: Twitter handle of Ibekwe Daniel MD

Pope Francis is reported to wrap up his six-day tour of Canada that he has called a pilgrimage of penance with meetings in Quebec City and Iqaluit.

After spending the day with private meetings at the Archbishop of Quebec’s residence, and speaking with a delegation of Indigenous Peoples, Francis is scheduled to travel this afternoon to Nunavut’s capital Iqaluitwhere he would be greeted by Residential school survivors, politicians, Inuit throat singers, and drummers among others.

Some reportedly felt that his first-ever papal visit to Canada’s newest territory would be a potential turning point in a century-long relationship between the Catholic Church and the Inuit of Canada.

Mary Ajaaq Anowtalik, an 84-year-old elder from Arviat, Nunavut reportedly sees the papal visit as an opportunity for the Pope to start on a different path.

Anowtalik said that the church and its leaders who once were spiritual guides for Indigenous people, are the ones needing guidance adding that she just wants to hear Francis say that the church is open without prejudice for everyone,

During the tour, including stops in Alberta, the pontiff apologized for the role Roman Catholic institutions played in the residential school system.

Although Francis acknowledged during an evening prayer service Thursday that sexual abuse was inflicted on minors and vulnerable people, he did not specifically say that it was at residential schools that the sexual abuse happened.

#PopeFrancis; #Iqaluit