Canada's Catholic bishops acknowledge Native abuse

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The Conference of Catholic Bishops in Canada officially apologized on Friday for abuses suffered by Native children in the country's residential school system.

Despite public pressure for years, the Church had refused to acknowledge its role operating the schools.

In a statement on Friday, the Catholic organization said, "We acknowledge the grave abuses that were committed by some members of our Catholic community; physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, cultural, and sexual."

Canada's residential school system opened in the early 1800s and operated as recently as 1996.

The system forcibly separated indigenous children from their families and subjected them to malnourishment and physical and sexual abuse.

The country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission has named it a cultural genocide.

The Vatican has refused to apologize for the Catholic church's role, unlike the Anglican, Presbyterian and United churches.

Global outrage around the lack of apology spread earlier this year, after hundreds of unmarked graves of indigenous children were discovered at the sites of former residential schools across Canada.

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