Is blanket criticism of the Church misplaced?

Editor, RE: “The Perraudins of this world are still lurking in the dark” (The New Times, October 16).
Clerics during the celebration of the Centenary Jubilee of Catholic Priesthood in Rwanda, at Kabgayi early this month. (Courtesy)
Clerics during the celebration of the Centenary Jubilee of Catholic Priesthood in Rwanda, at Kabgayi early this month. (Courtesy)

Editor,

RE: The Perraudins of this world are still lurking in the dark” (The New Times, October 16).

Mr Rukariza’s article could have been excellent but he messed it up at the beginning when he refers to the Catholic Church as having always been an evil institution.

Please learn to differentiate between individuals and an institution. Millions of Rwandan Catholics are not naive and you should respect them. I for one would be entirely wrong to call Islam evil because of what Islamic State (Daesh) is doing in the world when actually Islam is a religion of peace.

Jean-Marie Vianney Ruvuzacyuma

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Mr. Rukariza, are you sure Catholicism has always been an evil institution? Please, differentiate the role of individuals from that of the institution to which many Rwandans belong and have no regrets.

John Rwabukwandi

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In response to the both of you...

You’re missing a very important point. Individuals make up such institutions. And the minute an institution condones violence, rape, pillaging, theft, child abuse, misogyny, slavery, genocide and discrimination in all and any form and refuses to own up and assume its responsibility for such crimes, past and present, then that very institution “does not”, “cannot” and will “not” represent Divine Wisdom.

Christianity to this day has not apologised let alone implement a system of reparations for centuries of slavery and genocide against Africans and native Americans which it benefited from directly and also participated in.

Christianity continues to be a safe haven for child molesters who, instead of being prosecuted to the fullest length of the law, are being offered promotions to go preach the “good word” in foreign lands, by the Pope.

Christianity owns billions in stolen property, artifacts and ancient relics from cultures around the globe, who were nearly decimated in the name of Jesus Christ.

So yes, individuals do represent institutions and we don’t have to respect the Church to have morals and love.

God has absolutely nothing to do with the Christian faith (or any other Abrahamic religion—Islam and Judaism—for that matter) and Rwandans did not wait for thousands of years for foreign religions to teach us right from wrong.

You should learn to separate ‘Imana’ (God) and religious institutions.

Ali Rukariza

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