The leaders of four Christian churches in Canada apologized on Tuesday to indigenous tribes in Newfoundland and Labrador for suffering they endured from Christians.
    Catholic World News reports that Archbishop James McDonald of St John's told a gathering of about 150 people, "We ask your forgiveness" for abuses suffered "since the arrival of our ancestors 500 years ago." He was joined in the apology by Anglican, United, and Presbyterian church leaders.
    The event was organised by a nun, Sr Emma Rooney, and held in a converted primary school.
    Representatives of the Labrador Inuit Association, the Innu Nation, the Conne River Mi'qmaq band, and the Labrador Metis Association had been invited to attend, but the crowd who gathered was almost all white and there appeared to be no further action contemplated beyond the reading of the statement, which was quickly criticized by some of those present.
    Canadian natives have filed lawsuits worth billions of dollars against several churches, alleging physical and sexual abuse of native children who attended church-run residential schools. But most were in central and western Canada, not in the Atlantic province of Newfoundland.
8 Sep 00

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