Canadian bishops collecting donations from papal visit ‘inappropriate’: AFN chief

By The Canadian Press

The assembly of Catholic bishops organizing Pope Francis’s visit to Canada, where he is expected to apologize for the church’s role in residential schools, is soliciting donations from those hoping to see him.

RoseAnne Archibald, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, says she was told by people looking to book spots for papal events on Ticketmaster that they were prompted to donate money to a registered charity.

Papal visit organizers confirm the registered charity is the corporate name of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Archibald expressed her concern in a recent letter to Archbishop of Edmonton Richard Smith, calling the collection of donations “inappropriate.”

Archibald says First Nations people and their communities are dealing with trauma inflicted on them by church-run residential schools.

The archdiocese and papal visit organizers have not yet responded to a request for comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2022.

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