Memorial Service for Murdered Residential School Children Evokes Literal Storm, and a Response, at the Vatican - Support for International Inquiry Grows
The first public memorial service ever held in Rome for the victims of Catholic Indian Residential Schools, that occurred outside the Vatican on October 11, has evoked literal storms of change in the Roman Catholic church.
Less than a day after the service, a rare tornado struck the centre of Rome and the Vatican. Two days later, senior Vatican officials stated privately that they would meet with Rev. Kevin Annett and The Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared (FRD) from Canada to discuss their demand that the remains of children who died under the care of the Catholic church be surrendered for a proper burial.
Until the October 11 ceremony, the Vatican had refused to respond to the FRD and its letters to the Pope. One church insider recently informed Rev. Annett that the Curia's willingness to meet with him and the FRD represents "a major admission that genocide went on ... the Pope's back is to the wall on this one."
Besides a return of the remains of residential school children, the FRD has called for the Catholic church to surrender the guilty, revoke genocidal papal bulls such as the Inter Caetera of 1493, and appear before an international war crimes tribunal.
Held across from St. Peter's Square following the Pope's weekly Sunday service, the October 11 ceremony was officiated by Rev. Annett, who was commissioned by families of the dead and aboriginal elders in Vancouver to hold the service.
Rev. Annett said prayers for the dead and scattered on the pavement in front of the Vatican water and soil from the site of a mass grave at a Catholic Indian Residential school in Canada.
The service proceeded undisturbed, despite the presence of numerous police and Vatican security forces nearby.
Rev. Annett also conducted a symbolic exorcism during the service, aimed at what he termed the "spirit of anti-Christ and worldliness" that rules the Vatican.
Rev. Annett splashed sacred water from the land near a residential school on the pavement in front of the Vatican three times as he spoke, and then scattered soil from a mass grave at the same school to the winds, saying,
"We lay these elements of the murdered Indian children to rest, here where their murder was planned, so that their spirits may always be a witness against the Lie that poses as the church of Christ."
The Italian media extensively reported the event and Annett's lectures on genocide in Canada that occurred across Italy.
In response to Annett's trip, several Italian municipal governments have indicated their willingness to sponsor Rev. Annett to return to Italy, and to endorse the FRD's annual Aboriginal Holocaust Memorial Day on April 15, 2010.
Rev. Annett conducted the service as part of a month long speaking tour he conducted in Europe. He spoke to communities in Italy, England and Ireland, including survivors of crimes in Catholic schools and orphanages in Ireland, and screened his award-winning documentary film on genocide in Canadian residential schools, UNREPENTANT.
In the coming months, similar ceremonies will be conducted by Rev. Annett and residential school survivors at Roman Catholic, Anglican and United churches across Canada. Annett and FRD members plan to return to Europe during late March and April, 2010.
Note: The soil used in this memorial service was obtained with the blessing and permission of some of the aboriginal families whose relatives lie in the mass grave in question. In the words of one of the elders who authorized this event, Chief Louis Daniels of the Anishinabe Nation,
"Kevin Annett has the permission of my clan and nation to conduct any kind of service or public event needed to bring the truth and the children home." (July 8, 2009)
A Public Liturgy of Remembrance and Exorcism
performed outside the VaticanSunday, October 11, 2009
You tube link to event:
Weather link: Tornado in Rome http://www.theromanforum.com/?p=5464http://www.huliq.com/8684/87606/freak-tornado-struck-rome-yesterday