Separate fires destroy two Catholic churches in British Columbia

A First Nations chief in southern British Columbia, Canada says there are mixed feelings in his community after a Catholic church burned to the ground in an overnight fire.

It was one of two Catholic churches in the area that were destroyed in blazes that police consider suspicious.

Chief Greg Gabriel of the Penticton Indian Band said the Sacred Heart Church was a community fixture that hosted weddings and funerals. But, he said many people also feel pain due to the Roman Catholic Church’s role operating abusive residential schools.

“There’s a lot of anger, a lot of hurt in every First Nations, Indigenous community throughout Canada,” he said, adding that he was not speculating on the cause of the fire.

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