SABC News - Pope Francis apologises for Church role in Rwanda genocide:Monday 20 March 2017

Pope Francis apologises for Church role in Rwanda genocide

Monday 20 March 2017 18:27


Pope Francis with the Rwandan president Paul Kagame and his wife Jeannette Nyiramongi during an audience at the Apostrolic Palace.(Getty Images)

Pope Francis on Monday asked Rwandan President Paul Kagame for forgiveness over the “sins and failings of the Church” during the Rwandan genocide of 1994.

Francis “implored anew God’s forgiveness for the sins and failings of the Church and its members, among whom priests, and religious men and women who succumbed to hatred and violence, betraying their own evangelical mission” and “disfiguring the face of the Church,” the Vatican said in a statement.

The pontiff said he hoped his apology would contribute to a “purification of memory” and promote peace in Rwanda.

Extremists from Rwanda’s Hutu ethnic majority killed an estimated 800,000 to 1 million minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus and raped an estimated 100,000 to 250,000 women during the three-month genocide that began in April 1994, according to the United Nations.

Rwandan bishops acknowledged in November 2016 that Catholic clergy actively participated in the slaughter.

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