Fire destroys two more churches in Canada
After the fires a week ago, Catholic churches were once again destroyed in Indigenous Canadian areas. Authorities are checking whether there are any links to the controversy over the country’s mass grave discoveries – because the church is under increasing pressure.
WA few weeks after the remains of 215 children were found at a former Catholic boarding school for Aboriginal children in Kamloops, Canada, two other Catholic churches were destroyed by fire. Anne’s Church in the original Upper Similkamen district and Chewbacca Church in Lower Similkamen district caught fire within an hour early Saturday morning, the Canadian Federal Police said.
“The two churches were destroyed,” a police statement said, describing the fires as “suspicious.” And it will be checked whether there was a connection to the church fires in the cities of Penticton and Oliver, about 50 kilometers away, a week in advance. Investigations into the fires in Penticton and Oliver are still ongoing.
A few weeks ago, the remains of 215 children were discovered secretly buried at the site of a former Catholic children’s home in Kamloops in the western Canadian province of British Columbia. The discovery caused shock throughout the country.
Shortly thereafter, an additional 751 graves were discovered at another former boarding school for Aboriginal children that had long been run by the Catholic Church, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked Pope Francis to apologize. On Friday, Trudeau said (local time) that during a conversation he stressed the importance of the church leader’s apology to indigenous Canadians on Canadian soil.
The leadership of the Catholic Church is very active regarding the steps to be taken next. The day before, representatives of the Cowessess people announced the discovery. The facility south of Regina in central Canada was in operation from 1899 to 1997. The Cowessess people took over the facility from the Catholic Church in the 1980s. On Thursday, she said, it was still not clear if it was only children’s graves or whether adults were buried there.
In Canada, by 1874, about 150,000 children of indigenous couples and couples were separated from their families and culture and placed in church homes to force them to adjust to the white majority community. Many of them were abused or sexually assaulted in the home. According to previous information, at least 3,200 of these children died, most of them from tuberculosis.