Most obviously, Pope Francis is coming to Canada from July 24-30 to face up to the Catholic Church's involvement in the country's abuse-ridden residential school system and the damage it inflicted on First Nation communities, says Damian Costello in a commentary for NCR.
"Many Indigenous peoples want Francis to make a clear apology for what happened on Indigenous land and commit to concrete action that promotes healing and right relationship," he writes, adding that might be the easy part of Francis' trip.
"The unseen work — and perhaps the more difficult work facing Francis — is with the rest of us, non-Indigenous," Costello says. "We're still grappling with the reality that 'Indigenous issues' are Canadian and American issues. Or that our nations exist, whether we like it or not, because of relationships with Indigenous peoples."
Francis is expected to issue an apology for the Catholic Church's involvement in the country's abuse-ridden residential schools, fulfilling a long sought after request by the country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
You can follow along with all of our coverage of the papal trip to Canada here.
Reforming the church has been compared to turning a large ship around: You can't hurry the task or you risk capsizing the ship, says NCR political columnist Michael Sean Winters, in writing about Pope Francis' appointment of three women to serve on the Dicastery for Bishops.
"This declericalization of decision-making invites the whole church, including the clergy, to see ordination for what it is, a gift," Winters writes. "If we view ordination as a ticket to authority and power, we will very quickly turn the clerical state into a breeding ground for pride, not a vehicle for grace."
Read our reporting on Francis' appointing of three women to the Vatican's Dicastery for Bishops, fulfilling an earlier pledge that for the first time in the office's history, women would be granted a voice in the department tasked with advising the pontiff on which priests to appoint as bishops.