Rwandan Hierarchy Apologise for “… wrongs… committed” in Genocide.

It was happening at the same time South Africa was preparing to install Nelson Mandela as its first democratically elected president. The Rainbow Nation was born, with hope and history rhyming.

Yet, less than 4000 kilometres due north, Rwanda was convulsing. Time Magazine’s May 16, 1994 cover carried the damning words of a missionary:

“THERE ARE NO DEVILS LEFT IN HELL. THEY ARE ALL IN RWANDA.”

The outplaying of a self-serving colonial legacy, primarily by Belgium, erupted when the Hutu majority, long oppressed, were baited by their political and military leaders to murder their Tutsi neighbours.

What ensured was, without exaggeration, a holocaust of unimaginable proportions, inflicted up close and personal by former neighbours and friends, wielding hatchets, machetes and knives.

And appallingly, the genocide was, in some cases, aided and abetted by Catholic priests and sisters, and Christian clergymen, many victims murdered in the churches were they fled for refuge.

Recently the Rwandan Catholic Hierarchy issued an apology, read out at Sunday Masses across the country which stated:

“We apologise for all the wrongs the Church committed. We apologise on behalf of all Christians for all forms of wrongs we committed. We regret that Church members violated their oath of allegiance to God’s commandments.”

The Catholic News Agency for Africa (CNAA) carried a report from the Catholic Herald/Associated Press on the apology. The report may be accessed here:

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