The Vatican is expected to officially announce a July visit by Pope Francis to Canada on Friday, CBC News has learned.
The announcement will confirm the pope’s trip to Edmonton, Quebec City and Iqaluit in the last week of July, according to confidential sources the CBC did not identify because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
The CBC previously reported that the three cities would be heavily considered for the Pope’s visit.
More locations near the attractions and specific itinerary details will be released later.
It is planned that the Pope will take Lac Ste. Anne Pilgrimage Grounds, a designated National Historic Site approximately 75 kilometers northwest of Edmonton and possibly Ermineskin Cree Nation approximately 100 kilometers south of Edmonton.
The pope first announced his plan to visit Canada during an April 1 meeting with First Nations, Inuit and Métis delegates who had traveled to the Vatican to meet him.
Pope Francis also offered a first apology for the actions of individual members of the Roman Catholic Church in Canada’s boarding schools.
Pope Francis presents a gift to Rosemary Lundrigan from the Inuit delegation at the Vatican on April 1. (Vatican Media via Reuters)
The delegates, who have traveled to Rome, want the Pope in Canada to issue an apology for the role the Roman Catholic Church has played in running the majority of boarding schools, which would answer a key call from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
“You brought a living sense of your communities here to Rome,” the pope told delegates April 1.
“I will be happy to benefit from meeting you again when I visit your home countries where your families live.”
Trip to Lebanon postponed
Earlier this week, the Pope postponed his planned trip to Lebanon for next month for health reasons.
The 85-year-old has a chronic nerve condition called sciatica, which causes pain from the lower back down his legs.
He has a severe limp and has difficulty climbing stairs, so accessibility is a key factor in any place he visits in Canada.
“Given the advanced age of the Holy Father and the size of Canada, we know that the visit will take place in a specific group of congregations,” a spokesman for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops previously told CBC.
Pope Francis arrives in a wheelchair to take part in an audience with nuns and religious superiors in the Paul VI Hall on May 5. attend the Vatican. The Pope is suffering from a sprained ligament in his right knee and recently revealed he had received some injections to ease the pain. although it was not clear what the procedure entailed. (Alessandra Tarantino/The Associated Press)
Before the Pope travels to Rome, he will visit South Sudan with the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Justin Welby issued an apology at a boarding school in Canada last month on behalf of the Church of England and the Anglican Church worldwide.
“I’ll have an opportunity to discuss what I’ve learned with him,” Welby said.