Part IV: Will the Vatican ever accept

In Rome in 2004, Archbishop Raymond Burke led a campaign to oppose communion for politicians who support abortion rights. He told American Catholics they should not present themselves for Communion if they had voted for pro-choice candidates.
Bishop Andre Perraudin, a known ideologue of Hutu Power
Bishop Andre Perraudin, a known ideologue of Hutu Power

In Rome in 2004, Archbishop Raymond Burke led a campaign to oppose communion for politicians who support abortion rights. He told American Catholics they should not present themselves for Communion if they had voted for pro-choice candidates.

In that same year, the influential prelates Cardinal Francis Arinze and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger supported the idea that pro-abortion politicians were “not fit” and “must” be denied/refused communion.

On April 23, 2004 at a press conference Cardinal Arinze -- , the prefect for the congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of Sacraments -- said Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry “is not fit” to receive communion…If they should not receive, then they should not be given.” Kerry was pro-choice.

In his letter issued in June 2005, which contained “General Principles” on “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion,” Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger emphasised the church’s tough position on euthanasia and abortion as grave sins: “Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia.”

He was categorical: “While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment.

There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

He made it clear that: “A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia.” 

Formal cooperation in the case of a Catholic politician meant “consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws.”

On March 1, 2007, Bishop Robert Vasa published his opinion in Catholic Sentinel, the diocesan newspaper of the Archdiocese of Portland and the Diocese of Baker, that it was categorically impossible for the same person to state that he or she believes simultaneously both what the Catholic Church teaches and that abortion is just a choice.”

On June 2, 1999 Vatican’s official weekly, L’Osservatore Romano, published a story titled: ‘Defamation campaign in Rwanda.’ The feature manifested the persecution mania.

“Persecution has always been a moment of purification for the Church. Maybe the Church in Rwanda needs it.” The article clarified that persecution was indicated “by the arrest of Bishop Misago” considered to be “settling old scores.”

The article asserted that this supposed defamation campaign in Rwanda against the Catholic Church “was to make her appear responsible for the genocide of the Tutsi ethnic group.”

The Holy See embraced the genocidaires’ theme that people should not have their attention focused on the 1994 genocide. Bluntly, the article says: “it must be continually made clear that there was a double genocide in Rwanda: the genocide of the Tutsis and that of the Hutus…Up to now only those guilty of one of the two genocides are being sought.”

The paper defended Bishop Andre Perraudin, a known ideologue of Hutu Power: “Clearly, the political propaganda against the Bishop and missionaries is trying to blame the Church for the “politicization of the Hutus”, which is supposed to have led to the collapse of the Tutsi monarchy at the time of independence, to their exclusion from power until 1994 and to the genocide.”

The article claims “The visceral hatred of many Tutsi against the Catholic Church is rooted in the fact that, just before independence, both the colonial powers and Church leaders switched their support to the Hutu majority.” Openly accepting complicity!

The paper did admit that “Most Church leaders, and in particular the late Archbishop of Kigali Vincent Nsengiyumva, had maintained a far too intimate relationship with the regime that eventually planned and carried out the genocide.” 

It further acknowledge the Bishops’ “eight declarations during the killing were too weak and came too late to be an appropriate response, as also their reaction to the massacres of Tutsi populations after independence.” 

But the paper drew no policy consequences from these admissions. Instead, it suddenly came to the defence of the institution: “in spite of its historical failings and present weaknesses, (it) remains the only independent body in the country and an obstacle to total control.”  

On November 22, 1999, the Catholic World News and Fides (Official Vatican’s News Agency) published a story titled: “Campaign to Implicate Church in Rwanda Genocide?” The following day, the Daily Catholic carried the same piece.

To substantiate allegations of persecution, the Vatican’s mouth-piece found credibility in a member of PALIR/FDLR, Christophe Hakizabera, who claimed that RPF leaders had long ago decided  to “make false accusations against the Church because it preaches equality of all men and helps to educate the people; to eliminate Hutu priests, and then replace them with Tutsi priests; to terrorize missionaries and force them leave the country, because they are uncomfortable witnesses and hinder the FPR’s plans; to kill the older missionaries who know the history of Rwanda, because they are responsible for what happened in 1959, when the Tutsi lost power to the Hutu elite, educated by missionaries in the minor seminaries.”

To quote this genocidal ideology, couched in “mirror accusations,” to support one’s argument is an act of complicity in spreading it. Equally, it was an act of glorifying crimes by absolving the perpetrators.

Believing in such absurdities and hate propaganda can always lead individuals to commit atrocities, and organisations like the church to participate or cover up crimes.

The article also defended Father Athanase Seromba, who ordered the bulldozing of the church of Nyange, to more easily kill the two thousand Tutsi who had sought sanctuary there. Seromba was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison by the ICTR.

The Vatican’s media organ revealed in this article that Seromba had worked in Italy with the permission of his Bishop. Meaning: a fugitive priest with the complicity of his superiors.

Bernardo Cevallera, Director of Fides, once told the BBC that people “should try to listen to the voice of this priest who is well known by other Rwandan and Italian priests, and they say he is a very good priest, very committed to pastoral work.”

Cevallera also told the BBC that the church does not have the duty of investigating “it has the duty of building up a new Rwandan society.”

To Be Continued…

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