were forced to attend residential schools in a forced assimilation program. Most of these schools were operated by churches, and all of them banned the use of Indigenous languages and Indigenous cultural practices, often through violence. Disease, as well as sexual, physical and emotional abuse were widespread. An estimated 150,000 children passed through the schools between their opening and their closing in 1996.

  • The Missing Children: A National Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up as part of a government apology and settlement over the schools, concluded that at least 4,100 students died while attending them, many from mistreatment or neglect, others from disease or accident. In many cases, families never learned the fate of their offspring, who are now known as “the missing children.”
  • The Recent Discovery: In May, members of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation found 215 bodies at the Kamloops school — which was operated by the Roman Catholic Church until 1969 — after bringing in ground-penetrating radar.
  • ‘Cultural Genocide’: In a 2015 report, the commission concluded that the system was a form of “cultural genocide.” Murray Sinclair, a former judge and senator who headed the commission, recently said he now believed the number of disappeared children was “well beyond 10,000.”
  • Apologies and Next Steps: The commission called for an apology from the pope for the Roman Catholic church’s role. Pope Francis stopped short of one, but the archbishop of Vancouver apologized on behalf of his archdiocese. Canada has formally apologized and offered financial and other search support, but Indigenous leaders believe the government still has a long way to go.
  • In September 2017, Mr. Trudeau acknowledged the nation’s past “humiliation, neglect and abuse” of Indigenous people, and vowed in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly to improve their lives.

    Pope Francis has still not taken that step. By contrast, the leadership of the United Church of Canada, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, apologized in 1998 for its role in running the schools.

    Since the Kamloops announcement, Chief Cameron said, he has been traveling around the province, where farming and mining are major industries, looking at former school sites.

    “You can see with your plain eye the indent of the ground where these bodies are to be found,” he said in an interview Wednesday night. “These children are sitting there, waiting to be found.”

    Vjosa Isai in Toronto contributed reporting.

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    German Catholic Priests Defy Rome to Offer Blessings to Gay Couples

    During the ceremony, Father Mönkebüscher walked around the nave, approaching couples who sat in pairs, socially distanced and masked. They rose as he placed a hand on their shoulders and spoke a blessing as they bowed their heads. After one lesbian couple had received their blessing, they dropped their masks and shared a kiss, wiping away tears.

    Not everyone has been receptive of the initiative. One parish in Bavaria received threats from members of an arch-conservative Roman Catholic group and had to call the police to ensure the safety of participants at their ceremony.

    The initiative is the latest strain between the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church in Germany. Many parishioners in Germany have left the church, including those frustrated with what they see as an outdated approach to sexual morality and a failure to punish priests accused of abusing children.

    According to official statistics, 272,771 people formally quit the Church in 2019, a record number that helped to galvanize efforts among the bishops to discuss with the church a series of issues they believe were contributing to the loss of members. Among them were the role of women in the church, its teachings on sexual morality, priestly celibacy and clerical power structures.

    In 2019, they began a series of talks on these topics, discussions of which would be off-limits for the church in many other countries. The talks were to take place among the faithful and church leaders over the course of two years but were extended because of restrictions on gatherings that were introduced last year at the outbreak of the pandemic. They are now to continue into February 2022.

    Among those leaving the Church in Germany are many same-sex couples, who are tired of feeling they are not accepted for who they are, said the Rev. Reinhard Kleinewiese, who held a blessing at the Church of St. Mary in the western town of Ahlen on Sunday evening. Ten couples attend, all of them heterosexuals.

    “We can’t ignore the fact that a lot of homosexual couples have already left the church. There are many who don’t come anymore,” Father Kleinewiese said. “Nevertheless, it is good and important for this situation and beyond that we make clear that we are not in agreement with Rome on certain issues and prohibitions.”

    Gaia Pianigiani contributed reporting from Siena, Italy.

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    In Poland, an L.G.B.T.Q. Migration As Homophobia Deepens

    For months, government ministers spewed vicious rhetoric about gay people. Trucks blasted anti-gay hate messages from loudspeakers on the streets of Poland’s cities.

    Finally fed up with an increasingly hostile environment for gay people in Poland under the governing Law and Justice party, Marta Malachowska, a 31-year-old who works in social media, decided to move to Berlin with her girlfriend in December.

    “Last year the situation became too much for me,” Ms. Malachowska said, adding that she had suffered a nervous breakdown during the country’s presidential election last summer when anti-L.G.B.T.Q. rhetoric engaged in by the governing party became especially shrill in an effort to appeal to socially conservative voters. The final straw came when a close friend was assaulted because of her sexual orientation, she said.

    Arriving in Berlin, she knew she had made the right choice.

    “The first thing I saw was a giant rainbow flag hanging across the street from our flat,” she said. “I take my girlfriend’s hand when we walk in the street, without thinking.” She added: “Back in Poland, there was always this fear inside me. Here, literally no one cares.”

    People have for decades left Poland looking for opportunities elsewhere in Europe — an exodus that grew after the country joined the European Union in 2004. But now their numbers are being added to by gay people fleeing an increasingly hostile environment in Poland.

    According to a 2020 survey by ILGA-Europe, an international gay rights organization, Poland now ranks as the most homophobic country in the European Union. Activists say that violence against gay people in Poland surged last year, and included cases of physical violence, insults and the destruction of property.

    Its hard to know how many gay people there are in Poland, or how many are leaving. There is no polling on their views or preferences. And since they are unable to form civil unions, gay couples are practically invisible in official terms. The law does not recognize sexual orientation or gender as motivations for hate crimes, either.

    “This is not an accident,” said Jacek Dehnel, a writer who originally moved to Berlin for a literary scholarship with his husband, and decided to stay for good after watching what he called last summer’s “vicious” presidential campaign. “If there are no statistics, there is no problem.”

    But anecdotally, especially within the country’s well-educated gay urban communities, there are many stories of young L.G.B.T.Q. professionals emigrating.

    Piotr Grabarczyk, a 31-year-old journalist, left Poland for Barcelona with his boyfriend last July, attracted by Spain’s more liberal way of life.

    Originally from a small town in northern Poland, he described his childhood as one of “complete loneliness and alienation — the internet was my only escape.”

    “When I found out gay marriage in Spain had been legal since 2005, it knocked me off my feet,” he said. “I was 16 in 2005. My life would have been so different if I lived in such a country.”

    As he was preparing to leave Poland, a cardboard box filled with rainbow T-shirts, leaflets and educational books that he left outside his home in an upscale gated community in Warsaw was defaced with the message “BURN LGBT!”

    “I realized it must have been one of my neighbors,” he said. “We probably saw each other in the staircase, said hello.”

    He said he received many messages from people across Poland, “who would like to leave for the same reasons as us, but cannot because of money, family, or their career choices.”

    Homosexuality has long been taboo in Poland, where the Roman Catholic Church, which plays a prominent role in the country’s social and political life, has worked hand in hand with the government to promote a conservative way of life.

    The church, which is particularly powerful in rural areas, has adopted an actively hostile attitude toward gay people. Mr. Dehnel, the writer who moved to Berlin last year, said it was “the driving force of hate” toward the gay community.

    Responding to a request for comment, the Catholic Church pointed to an official document outlining its position, stating that homosexual “inclinations” did not constitute “moral guilt,” but homosexual acts did. It declined to comment on hate speech employed by priests, and the accusation that they were contributing to the general deterioration of the safety of gay people in Poland.

    Marek Jedraszewski, Poland’s archbishop, has described L.G.B.T.Q. people as an “ideology,” calling it a “rainbow pest.”

    The Law and Justice party, which has been in power since 2015, has whipped up its base by waging hate campaigns, first centering around migrants, and later the L.G.B.T.Q. community. Neither the government nor the president responded to requests for comment.

    In April 2019 Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the chairman of the Law and Justice party and Poland’s de facto leader, called homosexuality a “threat to Polish identity, to our nation, to its existence, and thus to the Polish state.”

    Mr. Kaczynski’s message was amplified by the state-owned news media and other government figures, including local politicians.

    “We should defend families from this type of corruption, depravation, absolutely immoral behavior,” Przemyslaw Czarnek, a Law and Justice deputy, who has been promoted to the position of education minister, said in an interview with the public broadcaster last year. “These people are not equal to normal people.”

    Trucks funded by ultraconservative organizations have roamed the country, blaring slogans from speakers accusing gay people of pedophilia. There have been increasing cases of violence during pride marches, and against individuals.

    In one incident in a village in southern Poland, a young gay man was harassed by neighbors hurling homophobic abuse at him, and one tried to poison his dog. In March 2021, another gay man was verbally attacked and then stabbed for holding hands with his partner in Warsaw.

    As a gay person in Poland, Mr. Grabarczyk, the journalist who moved to Barcelona, said that psychological violence was “an everyday experience” for him.

    “You are constantly reminded that you will never get the same rights as everyone else, that you are not an equal citizen,” he said.

    Emboldened by the narrative coming from the country’s top officials, nearly 100 local governments declared themselves “free from L.G.B.T. ideology,” making gay Poles feel unwelcome in their own towns.

    The legal status of L.G.B.T.Q. people in Poland has not changed under the rule of the Law and Justice party. They never had the right to enter civil partnerships or get married. But what changed was the viciousness of the rhetoric at the highest echelons of government and in the state-controlled news media, activists say.

    And policy could yet change. In a bid to get re-elected last year, President Andrzej Duda signed a draft law that would amend the Constitution to ban adoptions by gay people.

    Before Ms. Malachowska, the social media specialist, moved to Berlin, she was concerned about the practical implications of the legal limbo she and her girlfriend would be in if they stayed in Poland. There, they would not be considered next of kin in a medical emergency, or be able to inherit from each other.

    In Poland, she also began to get emotionally attached to the idea of marrying her partner.

    “We already checked how to do it in Berlin, and I started visualizing how it would look like — the first time in my life I dared to even imagine that,” she said.

    While she is happy to be in Berlin, she is sad that her grandmother still doesn’t know about her sexual orientation. “I told her I am moving to Berlin with my flatmate,” she said. “It feels awful to lie to my closest family.”

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    ‘We have gained hope again’: Israel’s successful vaccine campaign makes crowds possible during Holy Week.

    JERUSALEM — In the Old City of Jerusalem on Friday morning, in the alleys of the Christian quarter, it was as if the pandemic had never happened.

    The winding passageways that form the Via Dolorosa, along which Christians believe Jesus hauled his cross toward his crucifixion, were packed with over 1,000 worshipers. The Good Friday procession, where the faithful retrace the route Jesus is said to have taken, was back.

    “It is like a miracle,” said the Rev. Amjad Sabbara, a Roman Catholic priest who helped lead the procession. “We’re not doing this online. We’re seeing the people in front of us.”

    Pandemic restrictions forced the cancellation of last year’s ceremony and required priests to hold services without congregants present. Now, thanks to Israel’s world-leading vaccine rollout, religious life in Jerusalem is edging back to normal. And on Friday, that brought crowds back to the city’s streets, and relief to even one of Christianity’s most solemn commemorations: the Good Friday procession.

    For much of the past year, the pandemic kept the Old City eerily empty. But with nearly 60 percent of Israeli residents fully vaccinated, the city’s streets were once again thrumming, even if international tourists were still absent.

    At the gathering point for the procession on Friday, there was scarcely space to stand. The crowd moved slowly off, singing mournful hymns as they proceeded along what Christians consider a re-enactment of Jesus’ last steps.

    In the alley outside the chapel of St. Simon of Cyrene, the marchers trailed their fingers over an ocher limestone in the chapel wall. According to tradition, Jesus steadied himself against the stone after a stumble.

    Finally, they reached the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which believers think was the site of Christ’s crucifixion, burial and, ultimately, resurrection.

    For some, the Good Friday procession carried even more resonance than usual — its themes of suffering, redemption and renewal seeming particularly symbolic as the end of a deadly pandemic appeared finally in sight.

    “We have gained hope again,” said George Halis, 24, who is studying to be a priest and who lives in the Old City. “Last year was like a darkness that came over all of earth.”

    But for now, that togetherness continues to face limits. There are still restrictions on the number of worshipers at Easter services. Masks are still a legal requirement. And foreigners still need an exemption to enter Israel — keeping out thousands of pilgrims, at the expense of local shopkeepers who depend on their business.

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    ‘Like a Miracle’: Israel’s Vaccine Success Allows Easter Crowds in Jerusalem

    JERUSALEM — On Friday morning, in the Old City of Jerusalem, in the limestone alleys of the Christian quarter, it was as if the pandemic had never happened.

    The winding passageways that form the Via Dolorosa, along which Christians believe Jesus hauled his cross toward his crucifixion, were packed with over 1,000 worshipers. In the covered market, the air smelled of incense and echoed with Christian hymns. The Good Friday procession, where the faithful retrace the route Jesus is said to have taken, was back.

    “It is like a miracle,” said the Rev. Amjad Sabbara, a Roman Catholic priest who helped lead the procession. “We’re not doing this online. We’re seeing the people in front of us.”

    world-leading vaccine rollout, religious life in Jerusalem is edging back to normal. And on Friday, that brought crowds once again to the city’s streets, and relief to even one of Christianity’s most solemn commemorations: the Good Friday procession.

    designed the neighborhood’s street signs. “The locals can celebrate, yes. But something is still missing.”

    The mood among Christians a few miles away, in the Palestinian cities of Bethlehem and Ramallah, was even less jubilant. Christians in the occupied territories can visit Jerusalem only with a special permit, which has become even harder to procure during the pandemic. While most Israelis are now vaccinated, the vast majority of Palestinians haven’t received a dose.

    Israel has supplied vaccines to more than 100,000 Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank, almost all of whom work in Israel or West Bank settlements. Palestinian officials have obtained around 150,000 more doses.

    says it isn’t obliged to vaccinate the rest of the Palestinian population, citing a clause of the Oslo peace accords of the 1990s, which transferred health care duties to Palestinian officials. Critics say it is still Israel’s responsibility to help, citing international legislation that requires an occupying power to oversee health care for occupied populations, as well as a separate clause of the Oslo accords that says Israel must work with Palestinians during epidemics.

    Either way, infection rates are still high in the occupied territories and vaccination rates are low — and that has limited the number of Palestinian Christians granted permission to enter Jerusalem for Easter this year. A spokesperson for the Israeli government declined to reveal the final number.

    “Without permits, we cannot come,” said the Rev. Jamal Khader, the Roman Catholic parish priest in Ramallah. “It’s a sign of the continuous presence of occupation and the limitations on movement.”

    But Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection still provide spiritual nourishment for a despondent population, said Father Khader, who is allowed to enter Jerusalem through his work with the church.

    “We identify with the sufferings of Christ on Good Friday,” he said.

    “Then,” he added, “we find some hope on Easter Sunday.”

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    Janice McLaughlin, Nun Who Exposed Abuse in Africa, Dies at 79

    Sister Janice McLaughlin, an American nun who was imprisoned by the white minority government in war-torn Rhodesia for exposing atrocities against its Black citizens, then returned to help the new country of Zimbabwe establish an educational system, died on March 7 in the motherhouse of the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic, near Ossining, N.Y. She was 79.

    Her religious order, of which she was president for a time, announced her death. It did not provide a cause.

    Sister McLaughlin spent nearly 40 years ministering in Africa. She lived much of that time in Zimbabwe, starting in 1977, when the country was still known as Rhodesia.

    She arrived in the midst of a seven-year struggle by Black nationalists to overthrow the white minority apartheid-style regime headed by Prime Minister Ian Smith, a fierce opponent of Black majority rule.

    Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, a group of laymen and clergy that opposed the government, Sister McLaughlin helped expose human rights abuses across the country. These included the systematic torture of Black people in rural areas and the shooting of innocent civilians, including clergy. She also wrote about the forced resettlement of nearly 600,000 Black citizens, who had been held in heavily guarded camps in overcrowded conditions lacking proper sanitation and food.

    Just three months after her arrival, she was charged with being a terrorist sympathizer and locked in solitary confinement for 18 days. She faced a penalty of seven years in prison, but the United States interceded, and she was instead deported.

    Her writings had been published in obscure journals, but her imprisonment drew widespread attention; the Vatican, the United Nations and the State Department spoke out on her behalf. On the day she was thrown out of the country and walked across the tarmac to the plane that would take her out of Rhodesia, a group of about 50 Black and white Rhodesians, many of them priests and nuns, gathered at the airport, cheered her on and sang the Black nationalist anthem, “God Bless Africa.”

    On the flight out, Sister McLaughlin told The New York Times that she was not a Marxist, as the Smith regime had alleged, but that she did support the guerrillas.

    “I think it’s come to the point where it’s impossible to bring about change without the war,” she said, “and I support change.”

    Robert Mugabe as the new president. Before he would plunge the once-wealthy nation into chaos, corruption and economic ruin, he asked for her help in rebuilding the educational system, and she readily agreed. Among other things, she established nine schools for former refugees and war veterans.

    When she died, she was eulogized by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Mugabe’s successor.

    “She chose,” he said in a statement, “to leave an otherwise quiet life of an American nun to join rough and dangerous camp life in the jungles of Mozambique, where she worked with refugees in our education department.”

    Her presence, he added, “helped give the liberation struggle an enhanced international voice and reach.”

    Janice McLaughlin was born on Feb. 13, 1942, in Pittsburgh to Paul and Mary (Schaub) McLaughlin and grew up there. She graduated from high school in 1960 and attended St. Mary of the Springs College in Columbus, Ohio, for a year, then entered the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation in Maryknoll, N.Y., near the Hudson River village of Ossining, north of New York City.

    The order, founded in 1912, was the first American congregation of Catholic nuns dedicated to overseas missions.

    told The Times in 2013. “We try to live simply with the people. As Mother Mary Joseph said to us, ‘If anybody’s going to change, it’s going to be us.’”

    She worked in the Maryknoll Sisters communications office from 1964 to 1968 and organized a “war against poverty” program in Ossining. Moving to Milwaukee, she earned her bachelor’s degree in theology, anthropology and sociology from Marquette University in 1969.

    Then came her dream assignment — to work in Kenya, where she ran courses in journalism for church-sponsored programs. At the same time, she studied the anticolonial struggles going on across the continent.

    Much of her work in Rhodesia consisted of documenting massacres. When her office was raided by the government, two colleagues who had also been arrested were released on bail, but she was held as a dangerous communist subversive. “If I had Black skin,” she had written in her diary, “I would join ‘the boys,’” using the common term for the Black freedom fighters. She believed in the redistribution of wealth to redress past injustices.

    a recent remembrance by Robert Ellsberg, publisher of Orbis Books, an imprint of the Maryknoll Order.

    “I was suffering for a cause, and the pain and fear no longer mattered,” she added. “I was not alone. I was with the oppressed people, and God was there with us in our prison cells.”

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    As Coronavirus Hits Vatican Revenue, Pope Cuts Pay for High-Ranking Clerics

    ROME — In an effort to contain costs and save jobs amid a slump in tourist dollars and donations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis has ordered across-the-board pay cuts for the cardinals and other higher-ranking clerics working in the Vatican.

    Cardinals will see their income trimmed by 10 percent, according to a decree published Wednesday. The superiors of Vatican departments will have their salaries reduced by 8 percent, while 3 percent cuts will be applied to upper-level priests and nuns. A two-year salary freeze has been imposed on other employees at higher pay grades.

    The pandemic has “negatively influenced all sources of income for the Holy See and Vatican City State,” Francis wrote in an apostolic letter. “A sustainable economic future requires today, among other decisions, adopting measures that also concern employee salaries.”

    The cuts, which go into effect on April 1, affect only the employees of the Holy See, Vatican City and associated institutions, including the Vicariate of Rome. They will not apply to Vatican personnel who can prove that they cannot sustain the costs of personal medical care or that of close family members.

    an interview with the Vatican’s news portal two weeks ago. He said that cost-cutting had reduced travel, overtime and meeting expenses and had led to the postponement of renovations and some purchases. But the Vatican has not cut jobs.

    “Pope Francis insists that saving money does not have to mean laying off employees; he is very sensitive to the plight of families,” he said.

    The Holy See’s income comes from real estate management, investments and donations. Vatican City State has a separate budget and gets part of its revenue from the Vatican Museums, which had 6.7 million visitors in 2019, according to The Art Newspaper. The museums were open on and off last year because of the pandemic. Of the 1.3 million visitors last year, a million came before the national lockdown started in early March 2020.

    “The expenses budgeted for 2021 are the lowest in the recent history of the Holy See, but the savings have been made without decreasing the service to the pope’s mission and defending salaries and jobs for employees,” Father Guerrero Alves said. “We need the support of the faithful.”

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    Cologne Catholic Church Failed in Handling Sex Abuse Claims, Report Finds

    BERLIN — The Cardinal of Cologne in Germany has suspended two high-ranking officials named in a report on the church’s handling of accusations of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests, bringing an end to months of speculation about a matter that has led thousands in the area to sever their relationship with the church over the past year.

    The report, released on Tuesday, found no wrongdoing by the cardinal, Rainer Maria Woelki. But an auxiliary bishop serving in the archdiocese and the head of its ecclesiastical court were both named in the 800-page review. It documents a “systematic cover-up” in the archdiocese’s handling of accusations of sexual abuse from 1975 to 2018, and the cardinal immediately announced suspensions for both men.

    “As of today, it is no longer possible to say we had no idea,” Cardinal Woelki said after the release of the report — which he had not previously seen, but which said he had been fearing. “I am deeply moved and shamed by this, and I am convinced that for clerics, their actions must have consequences.”

    None of those named were accused of criminal wrongdoing, although a copy of the report was sent to prosecutors in Cologne for review. Cardinal Woelki said a copy would also be sent to the Vatican.

    a hotline for abuse, and had a bishop serving as its own commissioner on the issue.

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