To those affected by the discovery of mass graves of First Nations’ children In Canada.
I am Rabbi Brian Zachary Mayer.
As a clergy person, I deem it part of my responsibility to the collective to apologize on behalf of my fellow clergy when they fail to do so. Today I apologize on behalf of the members of the Catholic Church who ran residential schools in Canada, where hundreds of bodies of First Nation children have been found in mass graves.
I apologize that anyone associated with organized religion would ever collude in such depraved, immoral, and unethical behavior. It is shameful beyond words and casts a shadow on the Catholic Church and all religions.
If history is any indication of what you might expect, you should know it took fifty-three years of Jewish pressure for the Roman Catholic Church to apologize for abetting the murder of millions in World War II. The weak apology read: “We deeply regret the errors and failure of those sons and daughters of the church… We cannot know how many Christians in countries occupied or ruled by the Nazi powers or their allies were horrified at the disappearance of their Jewish neighbors and yet were not strong enough to raise their voices in protest.”
I suggest, Indigenous Brothers and Sisters, you seek healing regardless of the inaction of the perpetrators. Please know that I and thousands of other clergy stand with you, the victims.