I cannot aver that I strictly confess to any religious-sect piety. Rather, I’d say I subscribe to the school which holds that communion with God needs no human intervention.
But at one time I believed in the existence of anointed human divine messengers of God. That is, until I was disappointed as a trifling Catholic cub in early 1959 by a message that was doing the rounds in churches across the country, when later I understood it.
Call it a Pastoral or, Episcopal, letter if you will. At that tender age, I knew no difference.
It was called “Ibaruwa y’Umushumba wa Kabgayi” which, at the time, meant a communiqué from Monseigneur (My Lord) André Perraudin, the Swiss Catholic clergyman who was Archbishop of Kabgayi (1959 – 1989).
Truly, he “lorded” it over all Rwandans, Catholics and all!
In part, the message stated: “.....after having separated the good [souls] from the evil, Jesus said to the good: ‘Come, you who are blessed by my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world......’
Then He said to the evil [souls]: ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for you by the devil and his angels....’” (cf. Lettre Pastorale de Monseigneur Perraudin, Vicaire Apostolique de Kabgayi, pour le carême de 1959: Année de Charité [Year of Charity]).
The full impact of that message came to us as miserable refugees when the division colonialism in tandem with Catholicism had been busy sowing came to fruition. The fruition had meant the killing, maiming, banishment (“depart”) and arson (“fire”) that some Rwandans suffered.
Before these foreigners arrived, Rwandans had lived as one, albeit still in a relatively primitive monarchy, but far more just and egalitarian than many social setups of the time.
How we came to look obliteration in the face in 1994 all stemmed from what that “Year of Charity” was celebrating. It was celebrating the 1959 upheavals, a culmination of years of the dislocation campaign against our people.
Super omnia caritas (Latin for “love above everything else”), preached “Monseigneur”. Little did we know that that “everything else” included some blessed souls and some cursed ones, the latter condemned to “depart into....eternal hellfire”.
And doesn’t that “hellfire” sound rather too cannily like the genocide that it all finally led to?
But a little consolation incident: before “Monsegneur” departed this world in 2003 – to become welcome guest of Lucifer in the arson he wished others! – some Rwandans in his retirement home, Switzerland, gave him a fitting parting gift; a well-packaged mass of human waste!
For those who remember, it was not that Rwandans are equally (relative to Perraudin) crude. Rather, it was that God has decreed so: “From waste back to waste.”
God may have called it “soil” but methinks there is nary a difference as concerns “Notre segneur”!
In case you are wondering, my above emotional rambling was triggered by a sentence some pastors in my family uttered in their preaching this last weekend: “Satan hates unity!”
When you come to think of it, isn’t that a truism to beat other truisms?
You come from foreign climes, gun-threateningly tear at a people’s unity-cord while blowing on the cut with soothing Bible words and by the time you are done, you’ve divided them into something like a millions-fold Cain on one side and a million-plus sacrificial Abels on the other.
An innocent people almost wiped off the face of this earth for being your warm hosts? The “devil and his angels” are saints in comparison. If you ask me, humans are out-performing Satan.
That now-dead horse these foreign powers birthed in Rwanda at the turn of the 20th century, they are still flogging it to this day. For 23 years after we slew their division Trojan horse, they haven’t let up on trying to kick it into life. Who can keep at it like that but a human Satan?
So these foreign powers front one of their own to shamelessly flog the dead horse about who was responsible for a 1994 plane crash, knowing their own judges scientifically checked it out and laughed in their face. Still they push; they must rummage around for witnesses, however often these prove to be hoaxes.
And their arsenal is well stocked. So they fish out indefatigable “Satan’s angels” wearing wolf-in-sheep’s-skin labels like “Human Rights Watch” and other similarly veiled satanic names, created to look for some mud to stick on Rwanda.
The views expressed in this article are of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The New Times.