In North America the Church also understood the importance of schools.
The first Indian school in Canada was established by the Roman Catholic Recollect Order of Franciscans in 1620. It did not prove successful and the Recollects were replaced by the Jesuits.
Finding and keeping students never proved very easy as the parents were understandably reluctant to send their children off with strangers.
In the 1800s, this would change in Canada as the Roman, Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist, and even in one case, Mennonite churches worked with the government of Canada to establish Indian Residential Schools that the children were forced to attend. Approximately 70% of all these schools were run by various orders of the Roman Church. When necessary, under this new endeavour, priests and nuns would show up with police officers to remove the children from their homes and bring them back to schools, often hundreds of miles away.
In the United States, there were over 350 Indian boarding schools, with approximately one-third run by religious organizations, at least 84 of which were run by Catholic institutions through contracts with the U.S. government. According to The Catholic Spirit, “a group of Catholic archivists researching the topic believe there were many more.”
In Australia too, the Roman Catholic Church worked alongside the government with the aim of “breaking the spiritual and cultural identity of Aborigines, by removing tens of thousands of black children from their parents”—Irish Times. They were the “Stolen Generation” and were forcibly separated from their families under the policy from the mid- 1800s until the mid-1960s.
Almighty God designed the family. What place does man have to force children away from their parents? This is nothing short of forced conversion and has no basis in Scripture. The Roman Church is no stranger to forced conversions. Surely there is a warning here for any who want to preach the Gospel. Yes, we have been called to be a light set on a hill. And yes, it is a beautiful thing when one leaves his people and his gods to grasp onto the Hope of Israel as Ruth did. But, what does the Lord require of those who are the light? In the context of this subject, God’s servants have not been called to provide secular education to those outside the household of faith in his name. Nowhere did Christ or the apostles work with Caesar in this way.
The Canadian Children’s Experience
The program was designed to civilize, assimilate and catholicise the native population. In Canada, upon arrival at school, the children were given an English-style haircut. Boys received a great shock upon losing their long locks. Often a new English name was given. Children were punished for speaking their native language. Religious education began. It all sounds eerily similar to Daniel the prophet being taken captive into Babylon.
But this was just the beginning.
Then the abuse started.
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Many are wondering whether the apologies that are given this week will really bring any change to the Roman system. In fact, just last week the courts in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador ordered church lands to be sold to pay for the victims of an orphanage in St. John’s, Mount Cashel. But it is not just here in Canada where the the priests and nuns of the Roman system have committed such horrific acts against the most vulnerable, but across the world.
It was Almighty God himself, at the beginning, who said that it is not good that man should be alone…
And, It was the apostle Paul writing under inspiration when he penned the following words regarding the unmarried and widows:
“But if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
However, it is not only in the false and terrible doctrine of celibacy where the Roman system has gone astray. Sadly, the entire system is a departure from the original faith that was laid out by the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles. The faith of the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles was a simple faith, based on the doctrine that the Lord Jesus himself was the Messiah and would return to rebuild the kingdom of Israel. Instead the Church has taught that they have replaced the nation of Israel as God's chosen people, the Pope himself is the representation of Christ on earth, and the Church itself is the kingdom of God on earth, thus the name Christendom – Christ’s kingdom.
To add further blasphemy to such teachings and beliefs, this Church believes they have the power to forgive men sins, that they have the power to release men and women from purgatory, that they have the power to bestow so-called sainthood on whom they choose.
This is the system that was foretold in 2 Thessalonians 2 – one that would come with a leader, who would sit in the temple of God showing himself that he is God. In other words, honour themselves with an honour that belongs only to God himself.
Importantly, this is a system that developed from a lack of the love of the truth.
So can a system such as this repent? For not only have they left a trail of broken Indigenous families, and Indigenous children’s blood, but also of countless saints and prophets, that they too have slain.
A Toronto Star headline published Sunday reads “Another pope’s apology isn’t enough when Catholic Church’s cover-ups and hypocrisy continue to this day”
So no, the apologies that are offered from the Pope are empty.
The good news is that the signs of Christ coming are very real. Just last May, the Jewish population of Israel reached 7 million. Glorious things are spoken of Zion and the future is so very bright. The Lord Jesus Christ will come in judgement for how desperately this world needs to be cleansed.
Thanks for tuning in for another edition of the Bible in the news. This has been John Billington with you this week. Come back next week and if the Lord hasn’t returned and we are able, another addition will be broadcast!