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What is the National Day of Atonement?

May 26th is celebrated in Australia as National Tolerance Day. But to whom do we express our desire to repent?

On May 26, 2023, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of National Regret Day at the same time as this day. But the latter is reserved for one country, in this case Australia. In 1998, Vatican News reported that this was the National Day of Tolerance was created To honor the memory of the victims of the Act that authorized the forcible removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait children.

Australia’s National Day for Tolerance: To remember the wounds inflicted on Aboriginal people

This day aims to raise awareness of the wounds inflicted on Indigenous families for healthy cohabitation. However, the pain can be profound, as the forced incarceration of Aboriginal children has taken place in Australia for decades. A committee was formed to investigate this issue between 1995 and 1997.

2008 National Apology

It was not until 13 February 2008 that the Australian government, through then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, formally extended its apology to Parliament to Aboriginal people. Quoting our friends, Sister Margaret Kane RSJ of the Little Samaritan Sisters recalled this memory a few years ago when she spoke of Catharsis, relief, and satisfaction, as if the wrongs of the past were finally exposed and acknowledged..

Not just about repentance

The nun also stressed that this day should be marked not only by the seal of pardon, but also by the recognition of all the achievements of the indigenous peoples and the mutual fidelity in their relations.

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