RE: “The redemption of the Church” (The New Times, April 27).
Certain things puzzle me – about our modern history and politics. Perhaps it’s my limited knowledge as a post-Genocide Rwandan. The Pope’s apology was truly a step in the right direction. Every apology is. Especially a blameless one. The current Pope did not witness the Genocide against the Tutsi, nor did he take part in it; he probably does not know which one of the priests did and he surely didn’t instruct them to do whatever they do.
As an individual, Pope Francis’s hands aren’t soaked in blood. Yet his decision to apologise was personal even though he made it on behalf of the institution he represents. He did not apologise out of guilt, but out of duty, with intent to promote reconciliation and healing.
While the Catholic Church leaders took part in the Genocide against the Tutsi, the sad reality is that the largest responsibility for the Genocide falls on us, Rwandans. Even those Church leaders who took part did so as Interahamwe (militia members) or their collaborators. They did not do so in the name of the Church even though they eventually brought shame upon it.
Shouldn't we instead be asking ourselves why we allowed European religions to do what they did on our land in the first place?