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Voices of the Canadian Holocaust Speak to the Pope

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Reverend Kevin Annett who recently returned from his trip to Europe will talk about the first public memorial service ever held in Rome for the victims of Catholic Indian Residential Schools, It occurred outside the Vatican on October 11, and has evoked literal storms of change in the Roman Catholic church. Less than a day after the service, a rare tornado struck the center of Rome and the Vatican. Two days later, senior Vatican officials stated privately that they would meet with Rev. Kevin Annett and The Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared (FRD) from Canada to discuss their demand that the remains of children who died under the care of the Catholic church be surrendered for a proper burial. Until the October 11 ceremony, the Vatican had refused to respond to the FRD and its letters to the Pope. One church insider recently informed Rev. Annett that the Curia's willingness to meet with him and the FRD represents "a major admission that genocide went on ... the Pope's back is to the wall on this one." Besides a return of the remains of residential school children, the FRD has called for the Catholic church to surrender the guilty, revoke genocidal papal bulls such as the Inter Caetera of 1493, and appear before an international war crimes tribunal. Held across from St. Peter's Square following the Pope's weekly Sunday service, the October 11 ceremony was officiated by Rev. Annett, who was commissioned by families of the dead and aboriginal elders in Vancouver to hold the service.