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.

Dodzi Jean-Antoine Amemado is a university scholar. He also works with the Federal Government in Ottawa.

  • graeme quinlan
    Posted at 01:19h, 04 October Reply

    To be shamed in life can also be seen as being lifted up. To cleanse ourselves of guilt is a beautiful resurrection of the soul and purifies the heart and mind which enables us to live at peace in the eyes of God. WITH GOD.

  • Mark Hubbard
    Posted at 04:42h, 04 October Reply

    In failing to apologize the Church has lost its soul. In losing its soul she has lost the privilege to speak in Christ’s name. The vanity of power has fallen on its own sword and it has a name. ….Clericalism. The roots are deep from
    many many years of growth. It is, I believe, the root cause of the wide scope of abuses committed by men who were told, and who believed, they were ontologically superior to others. The abuses wether they be against our Indigenous Peoples or our defenceless children or our sisters whose voices have been ignored are a direct consequence of the sin of Clericalism.
    I’ve lost the home I grew up in.
    I need to protect and nurture my soul.
    We need to protect and nurture the souls of one another,…. especially the least among us…..where have I heard that preached before?

  • Richard Grover
    Posted at 10:02h, 04 October Reply

    Justin Trudeau, entitled to a family holiday after all the work he has done as our Prime Minister during the pandemic and then the recent Sept.20 election….quietly flew to Tofino on Thursday Sept.30 with his wife and kids. However, that same Thursday was also the first ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. True, the PM had attended a ceremony the night before in Ottawa. But could he not have attended a ceremony on that important Thursday in Kamloops …site of a tragic unmarked grave for over 200 Indigenous children in the Kamloops Indian Residential School…and then later made the short flight to Tofino for his holiday? Dodzi’s refection today(Mon. Oct 4) quotes the wise advice spoken by Jesus 2,000 years ago that Trudeau should have followed. How prophetic! Thank you Dodzi !

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 11:15h, 04 October Reply

    Thank you Dodzi!

  • Robert Czerny
    Posted at 11:27h, 04 October Reply

    Very wise Dodzi, thank you. And also thanks to the great comments above (Graeme Quinlan, Mark Hubbard).

  • Eric Jensen
    Posted at 21:14h, 04 October Reply

    Well said, Dodzi.


  • Philomene Attipou
    Posted at 21:26h, 04 October Reply

    Without apology, our gifts are meaningless.
    The Catholic Church needs to swallow Her pride and apologize to our Indigenous brothers and sisters. They deserve it.

  • Dee Sproule
    Posted at 22:28h, 04 October Reply

    Inspired, Dodzi!
    Absolutely right on, Richard!
    Your words of truth bring tears to my eyes.

  • Sheila Profit
    Posted at 07:07h, 05 October Reply

    Thankyou Dodzi, Mark and Graeme

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