Pope Francis has spoken out on the role of the Church in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Meeting with President Paul Kagame on Monday, the Pope expressed his solidarity with the victims and with ‘‘those who continue to suffer the consequences of those tragic events.’’
A Vatican statement released after the meeting, said the Pope sought for God’s forgiveness for the failure of the Church and its members, including priests, who got involved in the Genocide.
Alain Numa, telecommunications
I am happy to see the Pope recognising mistakes that were made by the Catholic Church in Rwanda. To apologise is one step but hopefully, the next step can now be to put in place a compensation plan.
Grace Gasana, agri-business trainer
I think that the Pope should be applauded for trying to mend relations between the Vatican and Rwanda. I also do hope that the President raised all the issues that Rwandans have had over the decades.
Unfortunately, more than a million people died and no words can bring them back. All we can try to do now is to move forward.
Vestine Umuhire, entrepreneur
A sin is individual and I don’t think that there is a rule that came from the Vatican instructing Catholic priests and nuns to go out and kill their flock.
I think that to move forward, everyone should carry their cross and pay for their sins as a person instead of us dwelling on institutions.
Hirwa Kagabo, doctor
Apology is the acknowledgement of moral responsibility. What about the others, like financial responsibilities, where they can chip in and, for instance, support the national survivors’ fund, FARG, or help to build and maintain memorials in the desecrated parishes?
What about the legal responsibility? I mean, the priests that abetted killings in their communities and are now hiding out in Europe. The Church should help to bring them to justice.
Francoise Mukankubito, businesswoman
Looking back at old Christian books by missionaries and priests, divisionism has always been and will probably always be part of the principles of the Catholic Church.
A very good example is how they treated King Yuhi V Musinga when he adamantly refused to be baptised.
Acleo Mugisha, producer
The issue has always seemed to me as if the Catholic Church wants to separate itself from the actions of its priests and nuns.
However, when a priest is absolving someone, he says that he is doing it “in the name of God”. There is a reason why something is done by particular people and not everybody. As long as you hold the title of nun or priest, you represent the Church.
I feel the Pope is playing it safe by using terms like ‘saddened’ but it’s about time the Vatican became clearer because expression of sympathy does not translate into an apology.
John Agaba, self-employed
In the sports world, this is what we would call a good shot.
The fact that no one from the Vatican Church had ever really acknowledged the Catholic Church’s participation in the Genocide against the Tutsi until this Pope speaks volumes. This is an achievement and probably the beginning of something great.