Canadian priest claims abuse of indigenous children is ‘fake news’

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Canadian priest claims abuse of indigenous children is 'fake news'

A Canadian priest has been banned by the Manitoba archdiocese from “publicly teaching” after making outrageous claims during sermons, saying that the well-documented abuse of children at residential schools is “fake news” and survivors are only saying they were abused to get money.

Father Rhéal Forest took to the pulpit on July 10 at St. Emile Roman Catholic Church in Winnipeg and, according to videos watched by the Daily Mail, told his congregation, “If they wanted extra money, from the money that was given to them, they had to lie sometimes — lie that they were abused sexually and, oop, another $50,000… So it’s kind of hard if you’re poor not to lie but all the ones I met said they liked the residential schools.”

The Canadian government apologized in Parliament in 2008 and admitted that physical and sexual abuse in the schools was rampant.

Father Rhéal Forest accuses survivors of residential schools of profiting from their sexual abuse allegations.
Father Rhéal Forest accuses survivors of residential schools of profiting from their sexual abuse allegations.
St. Emile Parish/Facebook
The St. Emile Roman Catholic Church in Winnipeg, Canada.
The St. Emile Roman Catholic Church in Winnipeg, Canada.
Facebook

In May, the remains of 215 children, some as young as 3 years old, were found buried on the site of what was once Canada’s largest Indigenous residential school near Kamloops, British Columbia. Just one month later, 100 more graves were found on the grounds of yet another Canadian residential school. In total, more than 1,000 graves have been found.

Adding insult to outrageous injury, according to the Mail, in a sermon delivered on July 18, Forest told parishioners that he wanted to shoot church vandals, according to the Daily Mail.

‘If I had a shotgun at night and I’d see them, I’d go, “Boom!” just to scare them and if they don’t run away, I’ll shoot them,’ Forest said, laughing, the CBC reported.

St. Emile Church took down the sermon videos and the Manitoba archdiocese was notified of his comments and banned Forest from teaching.

A makeshift memorial outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada on July 15, 2021.
A makeshift memorial outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia on July 15, 2021.
Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP

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