Pope begs for forgiveness over Rwandan genocide
Pope Francis has begged for God’s forgiveness “for the sins and failings of the Church and its members… who succumbed to hatred and violence” in the Rwandan genocide.
He was speaking during a meeting with Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the Vatican. The plea for forgiveness followed a request by Rwanda in November for the Vatican to apologise over the role some Catholic priests and religious figures played in the 1994 massacres.
In comments reported by Vatican Radio , the Pope also “expressed the desire that this humble recognition of the failings of that period, which, unfortunately, disfigured the face of the Church, may contribute to a ‘purification of memory’ and may promote, in hope and renewed trust, a future of peace”.
During the 100-day genocide, more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by Hutu extremists. Several massacres were carried out in churches where people had sought sanctuary.