Concerns over the Omicron variant have led the Canadian Bishops, Assembly of First Nations, Métis National Council and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami to reschedule their delegation to Rome.
In a press release from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the groups announced the decision was made as health experts are still learning about the transmissibility of the Omicron variant.
The organizations said that the risk of infection would be too much of a risk for many elderly delegates as well as those who live in remote communities.
“The decision to postpone was a heartbreaking one, made after careful consultation with delegates, family members, community leaders, public health officials and the leadership of each of the three National Indigenous Organizations,” said the release.
“We take comfort in the desire, conveyed to us by the Holy See, that the safety of the delegation should inform any decision to move forward. It is also important to note that the delegation is postponed, not cancelled.”
The groups say their commitment to reconciliation remains strong and will be looking forward to rescheduling the visit in 2022 to meet with Pope Francis.