Evelyn Korkmaz

APRIL 4, 2022: ALONE WITH MY THOUGHTS: I am going to express my thoughts and feelings about the Papal apology. I totally respect that some survivors needed to hear an apology, and that’s fine. I am glad you can now move forward with your life and begin your healing journey. But, I need more.

I am sorry and ashamed, doesn’t seem to do it for me. So here I go, in my opinion…..I had a few days now, for all this, to sink in and wrap my head around it. I lost too many years, to not take an in-depth look at the Pope’s apology to me and my people. I feel Pope Francis did not apologize but blamed the bad behaviours for the role that several Catholics, particularly those with educational responsibilities for wounding us and so on. Right there the Pope did two things.

1) He blamed individuals, who were employed by the Church and put in positions of power and authority. But the Pope neglected to take ownership and accountability for the Church’s part and involvement in the genocide of my people. Instead, he put the blame on those with “educational responsibilities”. REALLY, WHERE’S THE OWNERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY?

2) Pope Francis downplayed the horrific abuses that took place in these institutions across Canada for decades. He called it “bad behaviour”. Well, in my books it’s called CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY. For decades and even today, they continue to hide documents/evidence and continue to relocate clergy predators. THAT’S CALLED TAMPERING AND COVERING UP CRIMINAL EVIDENCE. Don’t forget these crimes were reported and fell on Church officials’ deaf ears. These were crimes against humanity, mental, physical, spiritual, malnutrition, experimentation and even death. No one believed us, but in June 2021 little souls were rediscovered in unmarked graves on school grounds in Kamloops, BC. WHO’S TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THOSE LOST SOULS? WHO’S GOING TO BRING THEM HOME AND GIVE THEM THE PROPER AND DESCENT BURIAL THEY ALL DESERVE?

3) In my opinion, on April 1, 2022, in Rome, Italy, the Pope made his official apology to the Indigenous peoples of Canada. In his statement, he says I will be happy to benefit again from meeting you when I visit your lands and……this year I would like to be with you on those days. The feast of St. Anne (July, 26). DID YOU HEAR HE WAS GOING TO FORMALLY APOLOGIZE ON OUR SOIL, ON TURTLE ISLAND? I DIDN’T, MAYBE I MISSED SOMETHING.

4) When I was a little girl being raised as a Christian, I was told you ask God for forgiveness and you will be forgiven. It was like a free pass, a guarantee, no worries after you ask for forgiveness, you can move on with your day. Well, Pope Francis asked for God’s forgiveness and pardon in his apology. IN THE POPE’S CHRISTIAN MIND. GOD HAS FORGIVEN HIM, SO NOW HE IS FORGIVEN AND AT PEACE WITH HIMSELF AND HIS INSTITUTION. SO NOW HE CAN MOVE ON AND SLEEP AT NIGHT. HE IS FORGIVEN. But unfortunately, we, residential school survivors, are left with hallow, empty words, and once again, we are expected to pick up the broken pieces of the Church’s assimilation policies. While the Vatican gets away with unspeakable crimes against humanity. WHAT A CRAZY WORLD WE LIVE IN…..