EDITORIAL: The Church defrocks for breaking its laws but not for Genocide; it’s a big shame

Early this week, someone posted on the local social media platform a photo of a civil marriage.

The publisher captioned it that it was a priest who had been recently defrocked due to “questionable behaviour”. Now he was tying the knot with his love. It was possible that the former priest had been involved in a long term relationship with his bride, probably the reason for his ouster.

The incident happened at just about the same time that the Catholic Church in Rwanda came under fire for protecting convicted genocidaires.

In one of the ongoing commemorative events of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, an issue had been raised about priests and nuns, who actively took part in the Genocide, were convicted, served their sentences and set free.

Unlike the “immoral” priest who was defrocked for following his heart, the genocidaires were welcomed by the Church with open arms. They included nuns who were convicted in Belgium for burning Tutsi who had taken refuge in a building in Sovu, Southern Province using petrol; school heads that killed children under their care; the list is endless.

For many years now, the Catholic Church has been accused of shielding its clergy against accusations of sexual abuse. In 2014, the UN requested the Vatican to remove clergy known for or suspected of child sexual abuse.

The Vatican implied that they were “interfering”.

The pressure has been mounting and recently an Australian Cardinal was finally convicted of child sexual abuse, another Cardinal, American, was defrocked and many more resigned.

Going by these actions alone, it seems the Church was more interested in protecting its image after many years of cover-up. It has now acted because its dirty lined was made public.

All the above crimes pale in comparison with the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, but instead of taking action against the killer clergy, the church gives them psychological support and employment. Talk of double standards, even in the Church.