The Catholic Church in Rwanda apologized on Sunday for the church’s role in the 1994 genocide, saying it regretted the actions of those who participated in the massacres.
This is contained in a joint resolution signed by nine bishops representing all dioceses, which was to be read in all the churches countrywide on Sunday as the end of year message of the jubilee of God’s mercy.
The communiqué says that even though the Catholic Church as an institution played no direct role in 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, some members killed innocent people in the tragedy.
“Even though the church sent no body to do harm, we, the Catholic clerics in particular, apologise, again, for some of the church members, clerics, people who dedicated themselves to serve God and Christians in general who played a role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi,” reads the communiqué in part.
It states that Christians committed a great harm to humanity and calls for prayers so that God changes their hearts, help them repent and reconcile with the survivors and open up to tell the truth to be forgiven.
“We apologise for all hate sins and divisions that were created in our country to the level that we hated our compatriots based on ethnicity. We ask for forgiveness that very often we did not show that we are just one family and people turned to their colleagues to kill, looted their properties and dehumanised them,” it adds.
In the years since the genocide, the local church had resisted efforts by the government and groups of survivors to acknowledge the church’s complicity in mass murder, saying those church officials who committed crimes acted individually.