The Catholic Church was one of several Christian organisations to sign a message asking for forgiveness for having failed to uphold the rights of Canada's indigenous population.
    The churches also appealed to the nation's governing authorities to work for the rights of the aboriginies.
    They wrote: "If we are to hear God's word of peace and seek it with one another, then we must face past and present injustices which have caused and continue to cause a breach between us."
    Calling on the Government to recognised land rights of indigenous Canadians, the church leaders said: "We believe that in the name of justice and for the sake of a renewed common hope, it is morally necessary for Canadians to engage deeply with the issue of Aboriginal rights to land and to natural resources."
    The message was signed last week by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Canadian Religious Conference, the Reformed Churches, the Lutheran Church, the Quakers, and the United Church of Canada.
    Zenit (available soon)
5 Oct 00

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