Resistance to Apologies
Whenever, in the news, we learn of the Church’s resistance to apologize for its role in residential schools, these words from the Gospel come to my mind:
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5, 23-24).
Some key reasons behind the Church’s resistance to apologize were highlighted by Fr. Shano with great insight, in an igNation post on June 21st, 2021:
I am a Catholic priest. Although I understand the legal reasons for the lack of remorse on the part of the Roman Catholic Church, I do not comprehend the moral reasons. I veer somewhere between sadness and anger. (Fr. Shano, S.J.)
Well, when Jesus was commanding the faithful to leave their gift at the altar if they remember that a brother or sister has something against them, and go be reconciled to them, He said this without any conditions.
Still, as a Church, we continue to bring our offerings to the altar every day, through daily masses across the country, knowing that we have greatly offended our Indigenous brothers and sisters, and as a consequence they justifiably have “something against” us.
The truth is the longer the delay in apologizing, the more shameful it is.