The Catholic Church is currently grappling with the devastating discoveries of multiple mass graves at or near the sites of former “residential schools” in Canada. More than a thousand gravesites, many of which represent Indigenous children who died needlessly at those schools, have been found. The fear is that’s only scratching the surface.
Now there’s a new twist that only makes matters worse.
In 2005, the Canadian government reached a deal with the Indigenous people in the country who had gone to those residential schools. Part of the “Indian Residential School Settlement” involved the Catholic Church raising $25 million that would go toward healing programs for survivors.
They raised less than $4 million and only about half of that went toward the stated purpose. In 2015, a judge agreed with the Church’s argument that they had done their best to raise the money and essentially gave the Church a blank slate. They didn’t have to pay any more money.
But according to CBC News, the Catholic Church has raised nearly $300 million for new buildings since 2005. So I guess finding money isn’t the problem, is it…?
These include a $128-million renovation of St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica in Toronto. The 2016 gala opening — complete with a brass band — was held one year after Canadian church groups went to court to say there was no more fundraising money for survivors.
Some survivors say all fundraising for new buildings should be halted until the Church finds the money they agreed to pay out back in 2005. It’s not asking a lot. For a Church with deep pocketbooks, it’s telling where they’re spending the cash.
Helping people who have suffered as a direct result of the Church’s cruelty is at the bottom of the list. It always is.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to everyone for the link)