The Wounds of the Past, Truth-telling and A Future of Hope: The Doctrine of Discovery and the Path of Reconciliation
The lecture will situate the Church's contemporary response to papal bulls of the 15th century, which provided moral justification for colonizing powers to claim as their own lands which had long been inhabited by Indigenous Peoples, within the context of the challenge of dealing well with sinful actions from within the Church in the past. It will explore what the recent Vatican statement on the Doctrine of Discovery said and didn't say, and how it has been received. And it will reflect on the larger work of reconciliation and the challenge of proclaiming and being faithful to the Gospel in a context where wounds from the past continue to impact present relations.
Donald Bolen is the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Regina. He was born on Treaty 4 Territory in Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan. After graduate studies and ordination to priesthood, he taught in the Religious Studies department at Campion College at the University of Regina, and engaged in parish ministry. In 2001 he was appointed to work at the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, serving the Catholic Church’s international dialogues with Anglicans and Methodists. He was named the Bishop of the Diocese of Saskatoon in 2010 and the Archbishop of Regina in 2016. Within the Canadian Conference for Catholic Bishops, he has been active in ecumenical and justice work. On both diocesan and national levels, he has been actively involved in Indigenous relations and responding to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He was a part of the Bishops’ Working Group that worked on the Indigenous delegation to Rome in March 2022 and the Pope’s visit to Canada in July 2022.