Pope begged for forgiveness for Rwanda genocide

The Pope has begged the Rwandan President Paul Kagame  for forgiveness for the Catholic Church’s part in the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

Francis said the Vatican acknowledges the church was in part to blame for the genocide, as were some Catholic priests and nuns.

He said these priests and nuns had “succumbed to hatred and violence, betraying their own evangelical mission” by participating in the genocide.

Francis is hoping to open a new phase in Vatican-Rwanda relations.

The 1994 genocide lasted about 100 days.

In that time, members of Hutu extremist groups, murdered more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

Many victims died at the hands of priests, clergymen and nuns, according to some accounts by survivors.

The Rwandan government says many died in the churches where they had sought refuge.

Francis expressed his solidarity with the victims and with those who continue to suffer the consequences of those tragic events.

He “expressed the desire that this humble recognition of the failings of that period, which unfortunately disfigured the face of the church, may contribute to a ‘purification of memory’ and may promote, in hope and renewed trust, a future of peace.”


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