Monday, November 21, 2016

The Catholic Church Had Failed Rwanda

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The skulls of genocide victims in Rwanda. "The Catholic Church failed Rwanda in 1994". Photograph: Stephen Morrison/EPA
 
Rwanda’s Catholic Church have apologized for their role in the 1994 genocide, saying they regret the actions of those who participated in the massacres.
 
A church statement acknowledged on Sunday their members planned, aided, and executed the genocide, in which more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by Hutu hardliners.
 
The declaration by the Conference of Catholic Bishops, which was read out in parishes across the country declared: "We apologize 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".
 
Many of the victims died at the hands of priests, clergymen and nuns, according to accounts by survivors, and the Rwandan government said many died in the churches where they had sought refuge.
 
In the years since the genocide – which was sparked by a contentious plane crash that killed the then-president, a Hutu – the local church had resisted efforts by the government and groups of survivors to acknowledge the church's complicity in mass murder. Even saying those church officials who committed crimes had acted individually.
 
That is balderdash, baloney, bull!!!
 
[From the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda records – just two examples.

Fr. Emmanuel Rukundo (first pic) ordered soldiers to abduct and murder Tutsi refugees who had come to seek shelter at St. Leon Minor Seminary Kabgayi that he headed, among other crimes. Joseph Ndagijimana (second pic) was responsible for the killing of fellow priests in Kabgayi Diocese. In 2009, the former was convicted and handed a 25-year sentence while the latter was also found guilty and handed a life sentence].
 
Still, the bishops' affirmation represented a positive development in Rwanda's efforts at reconciliation.
 
"Forgive us for the crime of hate in the country to the extent of also hating our colleagues because of their ethnicity. We didn't show that we are one family, but instead killed each other," the statement said.
 
Bishop Phillipe Rukamba, spokesperson for the Catholic Church in Rwanda, said the announcement was timed to coincide with the formal end on Sunday of the Holy Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis to encourage greater reconciliation and forgiveness in his church and in the world.
 
Do Rwandans want to forgive? Are they ready to forgive? Can they genuinely forgive?
 
Forgiveness – such a big word!
 
In an EPL game on Saturday, Liverpool disappointed – having failed to score in their goalless draw against Southampton.

On the Toastmasters front, I was an evaluator for a CC#10 speaker Lina Seow at the MIMKL Toastmasters meeting on Saturday; and I then delivered a CC#9 speech titled "Forgiveness" at the Liquid Gold Lite Toastmasters meeting at Hakka Restaurant in KL's Jalan Conlay a day later.

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