Genocide: Church needs to make genuine apology

Editor, Refer to the article, “Genocide: Church to apologise for role ‘soon’” (The New Times, May 4). Don’t these Rwandan clerics know the role of their institution in sowing the seeds that led directly to the Genocide against the Tutsi, or the direct wholesale roles of many of the same institution’s clergy in the planning and the implementation of that genocide?
Mourners pay tribute to the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi at Ntarama memorial site in 2013.  The former church is one of several catholic places of worship that have since turned into memorial sites after thousands were killed from there in 1994. (File)
Mourners pay tribute to the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi at Ntarama memorial site in 2013. The former church is one of several catholic places of worship that have since turned into memorial sites after thousands were killed from there in 1994. (File)

Editor,

Refer to the article, “Genocide: Church to apologise for role ‘soon’” (The New Times, May 4).

Don’t these Rwandan clerics know the role of their institution in sowing the seeds that led directly to the Genocide against the Tutsi, or the direct wholesale roles of many of the same institution’s clergy in the planning and the implementation of that genocide?

Or the role of the same Catholic Church worldwide in doing everything possible to shield those dripping with blood from the Genocide against Rwanda’s Tutsi, including providing wanted priests with assistance to obtain false identities and remote parishes around the world in which to hide, and their Church’s attempts to pervert the course of justice by pressuring Catholic clergy and the faithful not to testify against their fellow accused clergy and lay officials?

The Holy See, as an institution, has consistently reacted very viciously whenever fingers have been pointed at any of its clergy for their role in the Genocide. Theirs has certainly not been a neutral stand, leaving it to justice to do its work.

Rather, as with the pedophilia scandal involving large numbers of the clergy in many countries across the world over decades, the institution that is fully aware of the widespread involvement of its agents in the Genocide, from its genesis to its execution, has calculatedly opted for a strategy of cover-up, denial, stonewall and generally circle the wagons and attempt to discredit the victims and anyone who dares to accuse any of their clergy of genocide crimes.

Their conditional claims to want to apologise are as false as could be. Real contrition comes from the heart based on one’s own realisation of one’s wrongs. Conditional apologies, as in this case, are contrived to gain an advantage or to counter a disadvantage—they are thus self-interested and insincere.

Mwene Kalinda

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