URUGWIRO VILLAGE - President Paul Kagame yesterday received the visiting French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin at Urugwiro Village.
Cardinal Barbarin who has been in the country to attend a Regional Congress on Divine Mary, the first to be held on the African continent, commended the progress the country has registered 16 years after the Genocide.
The Cardinal told the press shortly after holding discussions with the President, that the country’s recovery and progress after the tragic events of 1994 reflects the resilience of people and the belief in God that everything is possible.
“I want to thank the President for having agreed to meet us. He did tell us his vision for the country and what the future holds for this country and his plans to continue focusing on developing Rwanda,” he revealed.
“Indeed, what we have seen is progress, not in Kigali alone, but also in the countryside. A lot has been achieved and the country is really stable and we are confident that President Kagame will continue on what has been done already to restore hope in a once hopeless country”.
The Moroccan-born French Cardinal stated that his exchanges with President Kagame were “encouraging” and affirming the fact that each person has an objective in life that has to be fulfilled.
According to the Minister of Local Government, James Musoni, Cardinal Barbarin who visited several parts of the country commended the efforts of government to improve the well-being of the people through poverty eradication and providing necessary requirements for development such as infrastructure.
Also accompanying Cardinal Barbarin was Archbishop Smaragde Mbonyitege. Apart from attending the congress, Cardinal Barbarin visited the shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows at Kibeho in Nyaruguru District, Southern Province.
The congress was launched in Rome in 2008 as part of Pope Paul II’s vision in 2002, where he revealed that the world is in need of God’s Mercy because of wars and hatred that result in the loss of innocent lives.
The Vatican has since organized for it to be celebrated regionally with Rwanda hosting the Divine of Mercy Week for the Great Lakes Region. The Congress was held at Kabuga in Gasabo District.
Cardinal Barbarin, a vocal and influential person in the Vatican and Catholic Church circles, particularly with his position as a Papal Elector, is a native of France and is currently the Archbishop of Lyon.
He was elevated to Cardinal by Pope Paul II in October 2003, just five years after being appointed a Bishop. He is one of the Cardinals Electors who participated in the 2005 Papal conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI.