Apology and Commitment
The discovery of the remains of 215 children found at the former Kamloops Residential School shines a light on a painful tragedy for which words seem inadequate to express my profound sorrow. As we move through these long days of June, more light exposes the dark places of the residential schools era. The penetrating light of our Creator continues to search the hearts of all for the truth, and challenges us to a renewed commitment to listen and act.
On behalf of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Victoria, I apologize for the harm caused due to our complicity involved in the operations of the residential schools. I am committed to the process of healing, reconciliation, and education regarding this tragic history.
The archival records related to the two Residential Schools (Christie and Kuper Island) that were managed by the Diocese of Victoria were forwarded to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2008-2015) and our commitment to transparency remains firm.
We are committed to assist First Nations communities in the work of searching for loved ones who went missing at the residential schools in our Diocese.
We are committed to help facilitate mental health and counselling support for individuals and communities in our Diocese to help find the peace that comes from truth and justice.
We remember with profound sorrow the children who died and the members of their families who continue to grieve and all those who live with the trauma of Residential Schools. We continue to seek pathways of healing for all those on the journey of truth and reconciliation.
We are all interconnected and we have a responsibility to accompany one another in the circle of life. We humbly acknowledge the pain of the past and we accept responsibility for the role we have played in the history of Residential Schools. With the help of the Creator, the path forward is hopeful as we move forward in the light of a new tomorrow.
Most Reverend Gary Gordon
Bishop of Victoria
Click here to read Bishop Gary Gordon's statement in PDF format.