Time is ripe for the Catholic Church to apologise to Rwandans

Editor,This is with reference to Joseph Rwagatare’s opinion piece; “Any chance Pope Francis will say sorry to Rwandans?” (The New Times, March 19).
Newly elected Pope Francis leads a mass with cardinals at the Sistine Chapel, in a picture released by  Osservatore Romano at the Vatican on March 14, 2013.  Net photo
Newly elected Pope Francis leads a mass with cardinals at the Sistine Chapel, in a picture released by Osservatore Romano at the Vatican on March 14, 2013. Net photo

Editor,

This is with reference to Joseph Rwagatare’s opinion piece; “Any chance Pope Francis will say sorry to Rwandans?” (The New Times, March 19).

“Isn’t Pope Francis I and his predecessors infallible? Then expect an apology for all the Roman Catholic Church’s sins against the Bene Kanyarwanda (Rwandan citizens).

Of course, it might have been easier if we had some kind of material leverage to threaten the so-called Vicar of God. For example, if we had the kind of power to threaten their assets like the American victims of some clergies have, or their Irish counterparts whose political representatives could threaten serious degradation of the Church’s status in that country.

But for Rwanda, what leverage, other than moral opprobrium can we bring to bear, and the Vatican’s bureaucracy couldn’t care about such inconsequential threats.

Mwene Kalinda, Kigali

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I think your piece was splendid. Indeed, the silence is unbearable and the church is slowly fossilising, as you rightly put it. An apology would make it easy for me to go back to my Catholic roots -- as of now, no thanks. Their history in Rwanda is too much for me to bear.

Lillian, Kigali

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