The Pope’s visit to Canada rests on his knee

Pope Francis’ visit to Canada at the end of July has been hampered by concerns about his knee. He has been in a wheelchair for a few days and has trouble climbing stairs.

Posted at 8:00 am

Mathieu Perréault

Mathieu Perréault
The press

“We have to see how it evolves to choose the places to visit,” explains Raymond Poisson, Bishop of Saint-Jérôme and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. “He is in good shape but has had back pain and lately knee problems. He has canceled a visit to Lebanon, maybe he will be treated. »

The Pope will also visit Central Africa in early July. “It’s a busy month for a pope, especially since summer is usually a month of rest at the summer residence of Castel Gandolfo,” said Philippe Vaillancourt, founder of religious information site Présence.


Photo VATICAN MEDIA, Agence France-Presse archives

MGR Raymond Poisson, Bishop of Saint-Jérôme and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, leading the Canadian First Nations delegation on April 1ah April

In Quebec, the Pope will go to the Cathedral and Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré for the feast of Saint Anne, grandmother of Jesus. “It’s a very important holiday for Aboriginal people,” said Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, Archbishop of Quebec. “The figure of the grandmother is important in Aboriginal cultures and also in our culture. » Are you planning to visit Wendake? “That will depend on his knee,” replies MGR the cross.

Roger Twance, an Ojibwe who is a porter at the Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes chapel in the Latin Quarter and organizes Masses for Aboriginal people in Montreal, will attempt to travel to Quebec for the Pope’s Mass. “I know people in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, I should be able to attend the celebration,” Mr Twance said.

The visit will be coordinated by Archbishop of Edmonton Richard Smith. “He’s more conservative but has been more active in building relationships with indigenous communities,” says Vaillancourt. Will this come to color the journey? Smith tends to maintain secrecy in the Church and one may wonder at the standing of French. »

After Quebec, François will travel to Edmonton, where visits to a Sainte-Anne sanctuary on the lake of the same name and a reserve near the Alberta capital are planned. He will also travel to Iqaluit, making him the most northerly traveled Pope. John Paul II visited Anchorage, Alaska in 1981.

withdrawal of the Jesuits

François came to Quebec several times, most recently for the Eucharistic Congress before his papal election in 2008. ‘He hadn’t really stimulated the imagination, he doesn’t speak French and English very well,’ notes Mr Vaillancourt. He also went on several retreats to an important Jesuit residence in Lafontaine, near Saint-Jérôme. “When I met the Pope and told him that I was Bishop of Saint-Jérôme, he told me that he knew the city well,” said FrauGR Fish.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement that “although His Holiness apologized in Rome last month, a formal personal apology in Canada from the Roman Catholic Church to the survivors and their families would follow the call of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to Action 58 “.

The Anglican leader too

Also in late April and early May, the great Patron of the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, visited Canada where he met with Indigenous people and asked forgiveness for the Anglicans’ role in running Indigenous boarding schools. But the visit received far less coverage than the Aboriginal visit to the Vatican in early April, and only by English-language media. Anglicans were responsible for a quarter of the schools, a proportion that rose to half in the Arctic. “It’s quite a surprising silence,” says Gilles Routhier. MGR Welby stopped in Saskatchewan and Ontario and did not go to the Arctic.

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