The National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) says His Holiness Pope Francis’ apology, on behalf of Catholic Church, is a worth to appreciate because it is the first time the Catholic Church’s Pope has expressed the will to officially feel apologetic, admitting the church servants’ involvement in Genocide against Tutsi and beg pardon for the past evil tragedy.
Dr. Jean Damascene Bizimana, the Executive Secretary of the commission, says that, in 1996, former Catholic Church Pope John Paul II asked Catholic representatives in Rwanda to beg pardon for having been involved in the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis, but they declined to do so.” But, after 20 years, at least the current Pope [Francis] made his move, which is really fantastic,” Dr. Bizimana reacts.
Dr Bizimana adds that Pope Francis and Catholic Church in general should do their best to play a big role to take to court former Catholic Church servants, including Fortunatus Rudakemwa, Thomas Nahimana and Theophile Murengerantwari, who keep denying Genocide and appear to spread Genocide Ideology in exile, while they are serious crimes against humanity.
On the other side, Ibuka, the umbrella for Genocide survivors expressed their excitement towards Catholic Church apologetic feeling, insisting they were confident of the apology would come following Pope Francis’ current character, according to The New Times.
Jean Pierre Dusingizemungu, Ibuka President said, ” According to Pope Francis’ recent initiatives, we were confident that he would have a different mind from his predecessors, by having a say on Catholic involvement in Genocide against Tutsi,”
The Umbrella thank President Kagame who decided to meet and hold talks with Pope Francis, as a right moment as His Holiness message will be key ahead of the 23rd Tutsi Genocide Commemoration.
When he received President Kagame in Vatican on Monday, Pope Francis has felt sad of the victims killed during the 1994 Tutsi Genocide, admitting that the Catholic Church has been heavily involved in the killings.
Back from the discussions between both parties, President Paul Kagame took time to his Twitter timeline and wrote, “Great moment and meeting with Pope Francis, new chapter in relations between Rwanda & Catholic Church! “He further twitted, ” Being able to acknowledge and apologize for wrongs in circumstances like this is an act of courage and moral high standing typical @Pontifex [Pope Francis’ twitter handle]”
All Kagame’s reactions came after holding talks with Pope Francis ahead of his official visit in Vatican. Pope, in the end, begged apology on behalf of Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has long been criticized of protecting its servants involved in crimes during 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, where different international organizations and experts in Politics insist some of the suspected priests are still serving the Church, despite their previous crimes”.