Mr. Fontaine said the fact the Pope never used the word "apology" during the 20-minute meeting, which also included the Most Reverend James Weisgerber, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, and several B.C. aboriginal leaders, did not diminish in anyway the impact of the statement.
It would seem that the words "sorry", "asking forgiveness", "taking responsibility" or "pedophile priests" were also part of the vocabulary not ever used by the Pope, either in the private audience or in the public statement that the Vatican released. Chief Fontaine offered forgiveness, though the Catholic Church has never allowed individual priests to publicly acknowledge their crimes against the Aboriginal children who were entrusted to them. Some First Nations leaders took exception to the Pope's statement.
... Hereditary Chief Bill Wilson said Wednesday he was angry the Pope did not take direct responsibility for the harm caused by the residential schools experience. "There is no apology," Mr. Wilson said from Musgamagw Band in northern Vancouver Island. "He says he has great sorrow. Well, it's one thing to have sorrow for tragedies that happened in the world. It's quite another thing to accept responsibility for causing them. And the Catholic Church caused a great deal of misery and suffering in this country. And it's not apologizing for anybody."One has to wonder if the pontiff was expertly coached by civil law specialists in order to ensure that no utterance could be viewed as an admission of guilt and thus be actionable.