11 April 2019, The Tablet

The Rwandan genocide is a shameful episode in the Church’s recent history

The Rwandan genocide is  a shameful episode in the Church’s recent history

This week marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the start of the 1994 Rwandan genocide and the murder of up to a million people, mostly Tutsis, by the Hutu majority. It is, among other things, a shameful episode in the Church’s recent history. As Robert Calderisi wrote in a devastating chapter in his book, Earthly Mission, “Priests, nuns and lay Catholics participated in the genocide. Church leaders did little to prevent the butchery, and some even seemed to encourage it.”

It wasn’t only Catholic Christians who seemed animated by the Devil. Calderisi quotes the retired Anglican Archbishop of Kigali, Emmanuel Kolini: “There were no differences between the Churches. Not one priest or bishop died defending others. So how can we talk about moral leadership?” Indeed. One of my memories of the time was the spectacle of Belgian nuns getting out of the country sharpish, leaving their Rwandan brethren behind. That reading about the shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep didn’t really count for much, did it?

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User Comments (1)

Comment by: Paulus
Posted: 12/04/2019 15:03:22
"There is no solid Scriptural foundation, other than the apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus, for Christ’s descent into Hell after his death on the Cross and before the Resurrection"

How about 1 Peter 3:18 ff: "In the body he was raised to life and in the spirit he went to preach to the spirits in prison. They refused to believe long ago, while God patiently waited to receive them, in Noah's time when the ark was being built." More interesting perhaps is the indication in Scripture that the saved faithful will judge the angels...never heard that mentioned in a sermon?