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I asked a question about the Catholic Church participation in genocide and it was closed with very weak reasoning.

Does the Catholic church support its participation in genocide?

Its not surprising that Catholics would want to suppress such a question, considering the well documented history of the Church’s repeated involvement in raping children.

But it’s very upsetting to me and should be upsetting to anyone who believes in human dignity.

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  • Although comments from up-voters and/or down-voters or close voters are agreeably good feedback, they are not obliged to explain themselves. – Ken Graham Mod Jun 6 at 21:48
  • @KenGraham do you have any advice on how to have a question which discusses the Churches involvement in repeatedly raping children without getting closed? – Clark Radford Jun 6 at 22:02
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    For one thing, the causes of the 215 deaths in Kamloops have not been determined. The number is now lowered to about 200. In fact, they have not even been ”unearthed” as you claimed in your question. They are still using ground penetrating radar on the site in question. Thus your statements must be as accurate as possible. The children could very well have died of natural causes! Once exhumed, the bodies will be autopsied; this will be performed to determine the manner of death. To jump to a conclusion of rape or genocide is too soon. – Ken Graham Mod Jun 6 at 22:09
  • @KenGraham if questions about how children were beaten and murdered by Catholics and discarded in unmarked graves cannot even be asked, how then can such things be prevented? – Clark Radford Jun 6 at 22:10
  • @KenGraham the events are not very long ago, there could very well be members of this site who participated in the burials. Has anyone even asked? – Clark Radford Jun 6 at 22:29
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    That is speculation at best and not facts! Comments should reflect improvement on the post whether it is a question or an answer. The school closed over 50 years ago (1969)! – Ken Graham Mod Jun 6 at 22:32
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    It could be noted that not all close voters were Catholic. You claim genocide, but in fact, deaths at Residential Schools accrued year over year, with “wild fluctuations” that probably reflected periodic epidemics.” It is also individuals who commit crime, not the Church. The Federal Government took the children away from their families, not Churches. – Ken Graham Mod Jun 8 at 6:11
  • @KenGraham genocide has the meaning and purpose to destroy a people. In the case of the Church this was accomplished by forced indoctrination, abuse. – Clark Radford Jun 10 at 20:54
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We haven't had many questions closed and that downvoted in the site practically since its inception when we attracted a lot of atheists off reddit asking awful questions about Noah's Ark and Evolution.

I don't think this is a terrible idea for a question, but you should just ask something that is answerable, and not in a "when did you stop beating your wife?" way. Try these titles:

  1. What is the Catholic Church's official response to the findings of the TPC?

  2. Has the Catholic Church done anything to stop "cultural genocide"?

  3. In what ways does the Catholic Church affirm the rights of First Nation people in Canada (or American Indians for that matter).


In 2019, the Catholic Church has the Amazon Synod (just prior to Covid and some say a chastisement from its affirmation of native religions) so you might get some good answers if you ask questions that can be answered as opposed to picking fights.

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  • If the Church cannot handle a question on Genocide, maybe they shouldn’t have done it. 700 more child corpses found outside a Catholic residential school, unmarked, unaccounted for. The three questions you pose do not get at the heart of it, maybe ‘what resources has the Church committed to uncovering the children they secretly burried?” – Clark Radford Jun 25 at 12:52
  • Another important question I haven’t seen here: ‘In the 20th century, how many children were raped by Catholic priests?’ – Clark Radford Jul 2 at 0:11
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Censorship on Christianity Stack, what steps should I take?

The title itself (Does the Catholic church support its participation in genocide?) suggest that the Church is guilty of genocide, regardless if She supports it’s involvement or not. It is a catch 22 question.

The Resident School System is not a question of genocide, but rather one of cultural indoctrination imposed upon by the federal government. The Government of Canada desired to in a sense to made the indigenous people more cultured to a standard that it envisioned. Unfortunately, many children died through illness and malnutrition.

For another thing, people like to see things in a court of law that are fact. In fact, forensics play a big part in this. Juries love forensics!

You should edit your post to reflect facts accurately!

As for your question, it must be as accurate to the facts that are being published. For this reason alone, I believe you posted your question too soon. Not all the facts are in.

You claim the that the Catholic Church took away these children from their families. The Federal Government of Canada did that and not the Church.

You claim the Catholic Church is guilty of “genocide”, but more probable is that ”communicable diseases were a primary cause of poor health and death for many Aboriginal people during the 19th and early 20th centuries: see here!

You state that ”Canadians recently unearthed 215 child corpses outside a Catholic school who’s deaths were unreported and graves unmarked.” These graves have not been ”unearthed” as you claim and were buried in individual graves and not a mass grave, as originally reported.

The causes of the 215 deaths in Kamloops has not been determined. In fact, they have not even been ”unearthed” as you claimed in your question. They are still using ground penetrating radar on the site in question. Thus your statements must be as accurate as possible. The children could very well have died of natural causes! Once exhumed, the bodies will be autopsied; this will be performed to determine the manner of death. To jump to a conclusion of rape or genocide (in the sense of murder) is too soon.

In 1910, the principal said that the government did not provide enough money to properly feed the students. On December 24, 1924, the girls' wing of the school was destroyed by a fire, forcing 40 students into −10 °C (14 °F) weather in only their night clothes. Three years later, in 1927, a report outlining the conditions at the school concluded that the poor construction of buildings at the school led to "numerous infections, colds, bronchitis, and pneumonia" during the previous winter. During the 1957–1958 influenza pandemic, the Kamloops district health officer, D. M. Black, reported that half of the students at the school had been ill. At the time, health officials from the University of British Columbia acknowledged the infection rate was "slightly more than normal but not a serious worry."

The school was established in 1890 and in operation until 1969, when it was taken over by the federal government from the Catholic Church to be used as a day school residence. It closed in 1978. The school building still stands today, and is located on the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation. In May 2021, the remains of 215 children buried in unmarked graves were confirmed to have been found at the site. - Kamloops Indian Residential School

Your post asks if ”the Church today support it’s involvement in genocide.” But the answer, which you accepted states clearly that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission urges Canada to confront “cultural genocide” of the residential schools system.

When D. J. Clayworth edited your question to reflect that; you rollbacked his edit. So which is it that you are asking: Genocide in the sense as 1st degree murder or ”cultural genocide”? Remember, you accepted his answer and he clearly points to a cultural genocide mentality of the times. (Since posting this response, you have removed your acceptance of his fine answer!)

Other denominations were also involved.

Finally, in 1992, the Anglican Church, too, offered an apology. It came about late and after years of internal changes and criticism, similar to the changes the Catholic orders went through. Primate Archbishop Michael Peers offered a shorter apology in the name of the Anglican Church. Here are the key sentences from the apology: “I am sorry, more than I can say, that we were part of a system which took you and your children from home and family. I am sorry, more than I can say, that we tried to remake you in our image, taking from you your language and the signs of your identity. I am sorry, more than I can say, that in our schools so many were abused physically, sexually, culturally and emotionally. On behalf of the Anglican Church of Canada, I present our apology.” - The Churches Apologize

In the end, make sure your question is well documented, sourced and properly quoted, as well as clearly defined!

Addendum:

As you say that "questions about how children were beaten and murdered by Catholics and discarded in unmarked graves cannot even be asked, how then can such things be prevented?"

Maybe because these children were not murdered in the first place! The Federal Government may be the true culprit here.

The following article is an eye opener:

‘Mass grave’ narrative misses need for answers and action: researcher

When the Chief of the Kamloops Indian Band announced on May 27 that researchers had located the remains of 215 children in unmarked graves near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, she said the discovery confirmed what she and her people had long known, that many children had died while attending the Residential School.

“We had a knowing in our community that we were able to verify,” Rosanne Casimir stated in a news release, explaining that ground-penetrating radar had been used to locate the graves.

Indeed, as National Post’s Tristin Hopper wrote in response to widespread expression of “shock” and “disbelief” in the wake of the news, the existence of such graveyards was never a secret. “Communities and survivors knew the bodies were there, as did any investigation or government commission that bothered to ask,” he wrote.

Of particular concern to him is the fact that many news reports described the Kamloops gravesite as a mass grave, a term most often used to describe sites associated with war crimes or massacres in which people all killed at one time are buried en masse in a site that is then hidden.

In fact, deaths at Residential Schools accrued year over year, with “wild fluctuations” that probably reflected periodic epidemics, Hamilton said. The high death rates continued until the middle of the 20th century, when they finally fell to match those in the general population.

Hamilton said the “mass grave” description “misses the point with the Residential-School story,” a story that unfolded over more than a century and in which appalling conditions led to high death rates due to disease, the most devastating of which was tuberculosis.

Deceased students were often buried in simple graveyards near the schools because federal authorities provided no funding to send the bodies home or to conduct proper burials. The result, Hamilton told The B.C. Catholic, was that the children were interred in de facto “pauper’s graves” with simple wooden crosses that have deteriorated and disappeared over the decades. His report found no evidence that school officials intended to hide the graves.

Communicable diseases were a primary cause of poor health and death for many Aboriginal people during the 19th and early 20th centuries, Hamilton wrote in his report.

Explaining lost cemeteries

In his report on burials associated with Indian Residential Schools, anthropologist Dr. Scott Hamilton discovered that not only did the federal government fail to develop a policy on how deceased students should be buried (other than to instruct school officials to spend as little as possible), but Ottawa also produced no plan for the maintenance of cemeteries after the schools closed.

Moreover, Hamilton discovered that while some graves and cemeteries associated with Residential Schools are known and maintained, “others are now unknown or incompletely documented in the literature, and may even have passed from local memory.”

He found that many of the inactive and overgrown cemeteries cannot be easily identified. “Without formal documentation, it becomes more difficult to offer protection from contemporary or future land development,” he wrote in his report, entitled Where are the Children buried?

“Even when considering presently known and maintained cemeteries, some graves may lie unrecognized after the decay and disappearance of wood grave markers and enclosing graveyard fences. This presents a serious challenge for identifying, commemorating, or protecting unmarked graves and undocumented cemeteries.”

They always knew the graves were there! A discovery implies a new finding. This is not the case.

While Canadians have used such words as “shock” or “disbelief” to describe the discovery of up to 215 unmarked graves of children who died while attending the Kamloops Indian Residential School, the truth is much more telling: It was never a secret that the sites of Indian Residential Schools abounded with the graves of dead children. Communities and survivors knew the bodies were there, as did any investigation or government commission that bothered to ask.

If Canadians are only now discovering the deadly legacy of Indian Residential Schools, it’s not due to any lack of available evidence.

This week, a myriad of Indigenous voices all mourned the Kamloops, B.C., discovery, but added that it isn’t unexpected or unusual.

From the earliest days of the Indian Residential School system, the federal government openly acknowledged high rates of student mortality. An official 1907 report into Manitoba Indian Residential Schools even included charts cataloguing pupils as either “good,” “sick” or “dead.”

There was never an official policy on how to handle the dead from Indian Residential Schools, but because the Department of Indian Affairs refused to ship home the bodies of children for cost reasons, it follows that most were buried on or near school grounds.

This was confirmed by the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, released in 2015. “Many, if not most, of the several thousand children who died in residential schools are likely to be buried in unmarked and untended graves,” it wrote. “Subjected to institutionalized child neglect in life, they have been dishonoured in death.” - The graves were never a secret: Why so many residential school cemeteries remain unmarked

The whole idea that the Catholic Church was involved in a genocide more and more looks like a smear campaign against her.

Sure, some individual Catholics committed terrible crimes, but the Church will never condone such actions done by individual Catholic. For the rest the Church has apologized for role in the administration of the Native Residential School System.

I do not see as many asking for the Federal Government to admit its’ wrong doings in this particular matter. It is the main instigator in this subject matter.

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  • ‘Mentality of the times’ is an egregious statement, it was a mentality of groups of people organized under religious banners. Stealing children from parents, Rape and forced confinement of children was not a generally accepted practice. – Clark Radford Jun 6 at 23:46
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    Churches ran the schools, the Government of Canada imposed the European cultural obligation mentality. The government took the children from their families. – Ken Graham Mod Jun 6 at 23:52
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    @ClarkRadford Actually it was generally accepted in many places. Consider Australia's Stolen Generations. – curiousdannii Mod Jun 6 at 23:52
  • @KenGraham You more than most people should read this account of what happened in Kamloops - theglobeandmail.com/canada/… Which would help inform an improvement in your answer as it contradicts much of the tone and content of your answer. – Clark Radford Jul 18 at 0:27
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You should share your experience on this stack exchange with a wider audience in order to bring more witness to bear on the christian community who are failing to come to terms with the starring role the Church has played in genocide over the last century.

Cultural genocide, despite contemporary thinking, is not a new problem in need of normative solution, rather it is as old as the concept of genocide itself. The lens of law and history allows us to see that the original conceptualization of the crime of genocide – as presented by Raphael Lemkin – gave cultural genocide centre stage. As Nazi crime was a methodical attempt to destroy a group and as what makes up a group’s identity is its culture, for Lemkin, the essence of genocide was cultural. Yet the final text of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention) does not prohibit cultural genocide as such, and it is limited to its physical and biological aspects. What led to this exclusion? In this article, we examine the various junctures of law, politics and history in which the concept was shaped: the original conceptualization by Lemkin; litigation in national and international criminal courts and the drafting process of the Genocide Convention. In the last part, we return to the mostly forgotten struggle for cultural restitution (books, archives and works of art) fought by Jewish organizations after the Holocaust as a countermeasure to cultural genocide. Read together, these various struggles uncover a robust understanding of cultural genocide, which was once repressed by international law and now returns to haunt us by the demands of groups for recognition and protection.

https://academic.oup.com/ejil/article/29/2/373/5057075

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    This is just one interpretation to what cultural genocide is! Much more is involved in the question you posted, such reporting facts accurately. Although you accepted your own answer, this post does not answer the question you actually posted. See the additional information in my response: Communicable diseases were a primary cause of poor health and death for many Aboriginal people during the 19th and early 20th centuries, Hamilton wrote in his report. – Ken Graham Mod Jun 7 at 1:36
  • I defer to the expert who coined the term itself and was responsible for ratification of the Genocide Convention with the United Nations. – Clark Radford Jun 7 at 1:40
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    We already have a chat room dedicated to this. Let's go there. chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/126155/… – DJClayworth Jun 10 at 21:18

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