I posted this in The Facebook, and got one response - from my sister. Maybe nobody else saw it, maybe nobody wanted to comment, maybe it upset some. I'll tweak and repost.
There was this article, from the CBC - Survivors, faith leaders call on Catholic Church to take responsibility for residential schools.
"The Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation in B.C. said last Thursday that preliminary findings from a survey of the grounds at the former residential school in Kamloops revealed the remains of 215 children — some as young as three years old."
These were schools for young native children, taken from their families. The schools were run by various church groups, mainly Roman Catholic, from 1831 to 1996. The intent was to assimilate them into Canadian (non-native) society, by force if necessary. Abuse was common and has been well documented.
"The Roman Catholic Church was responsible for operating up to 70 percent of residential schools, according to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS). United, Anglican and Presbyterian churches were among those operating the remainder. In the years since, the Roman Catholic Church is the only one that hasn't made a formal apology."
It has been suggested that the Church is worried about the legal and financial consequences, once they admit to some responsibility. Without that admission, I'm sure the Church will end up with a weak apology and a negotiated settlement of reparations. The Church is extremely rich, and arrogant in their belief they are untouchable. They can always just put on a sad sorrowful face and ask people for forgiveness. And more money.
A real apology would open the door for crippling lawsuits. It would also hurt their brand, and they would some lose followers, and donations, and power. This would hit them where it matters. Unfortunately not enough, as Christians seem to be really into this forgiveness thing.
But given that this was supposedly all done according to the teachings and beliefs of the Church, that it was done in God's name, how can the Church admit what it did was wrong? Was there a typo somewhere? Are we to believe they are somehow better now, that those actions were are done by well-meaning but misguided Catholics? I think not, as we still have cases of sexual abuse, of financial wrongdoing, of inequalities, of rigid last century ideas. With no real consequences, no real change. What has changed in the teachings of Catholicism, in the rules and regulations of the Church, that would lead us to expect any different? Not much.
To be more specific, I'll address any card-carrying Catholics out there. Given what your Church did, and is now doing - or not doing - how can any of you stay in the Church? Yes, I'm sure you are good people and would never do these things, but it's not as if you are in a different good Church, the one with good priests and good bishops and a good Pope. Yet you are staying in the Church, letting it count you as a member, and count your donation, for whatever positive benefits you get from it.
How can people morally justify supporting this Church? To me, it seems hypocritical.