Pope Francis has repeatedly apologized to the Indigenous peoples of the Americas for the church's involvement in their colonization, which in some places is still ongoing, and acknowledged the church's historic responsibility to build a new, right relationship with them. In this context, reconciliation with the Indigenous peoples takes a new urgency for peacemaking in an area that does not usually get much attention in the churches and society. The recent publication of the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada on the residential school system and the Commission's call to the churches to take responsibility for the past relationship with Indigenous peoples, adds a new dimension to this urgency.
The lecture will focus on the theology pastoral approach needed for contributing to reconciliation and peacemaking in this context. The lecture will also include examples of some positive responses of churches from different parts of the Americas.
Michel Andraos, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Intercultural Theology and Ministry at Catholic Theological Union. His current research projects focus on the encounter of the church and Indigenous peoples of the Americas and reconciliation.