In April 1994, a three-month killing spree began in Rwanda, in which Hutu members killed about 800,000 people in an attempt to destroy the Tutsi ‘rival’ ethnic group; they also killed Hutus who were not willing to take part in the genocide. Religion played a key role, as priests, nuns and bishops participated in the massacre and incited it from their pulpits, radio stations of the Church and newspapers — when the persecuted took refuge in churches, the god messengers betrayed their trust, alerting the Hutus’ death squads. Christian love at its finest.
Now, 22 years later, it seems that the Catholic Church in Rwanda admitted its responsibility in the genocide and apologized:
The Catholic Church in Rwanda has apologized for its members’ role in the genocide that saw hundreds of thousands of Rwandans killed in 1994.
Rwandan bishops asked for “forgiveness for sins of hatred and disagreement that happened in the country to the point of hating our own countrymen because of their origin,” in a statement read after mass in parishes across the country Sunday
It is a good step in the right direction, although I do not think it is enough — apologizing does not make much sense if there is no real repentance (what Catholics call “contrition“), and they could well show it, not only asking for forgiveness, but by confessing their crimes in a court of law, and accepting the sentence.
And since we are making suggestions, it wouldn’t be too bad for the Church to open its coffers and, for a change, economically repair some of the damage they have done, putting their money where their mouth is. Because talk is cheap.
By the way, it is worth remembering that the list of things the Church could apologize for remains devilishly long. They have a lot of work ahead of them.
(via Jorge González | image: configmanager)