US Catholic bishops apologise to Native Americans for abuses

US Catholic bishops offered an apology to Native Americans on Friday for the church’s role in inflicting trauma on their communities and adopted new guidelines for ministering to indigenous Catholics.

The new policies, approved by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, call on church leaders to set up listening sessions with local Native leaders, incorporate tribal customs into sacred rites and improve access to Catholic universities and other educational opportunities for Native Americans, among other directives.

The document chronicled some of the abuses that Native Americans suffered at the hands of the church, including its operation of more than 80 government-sponsored boarding schools that were part of a decades-long forced assimilation program.

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