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Bishop says Marian apparitions could reconcile Rwanda

Bishop Augustin Misago of Rwanda has suggested the recently recognised apparitions of Our Lady of Kibeho could contribute to national reconciliation in his country.

Rwanda remains heavily traumatised by the 1994 ethnic genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

"I hope that through Our Lady, Kibeho will become a centre for national reconciliation," Bishop Misago said in a statement about the official recognition of the 1981 apparition of the Virgin Mary in Kibeho to three young women.

Bishop Misago, who wrote a book on the apparitions, was acquitted of genocide charges last year, following an attempt, according to the local Church, to falsely accuse him of complicity in the massacres.

When asked about the Virgin Mary's apparition as an African woman speaking the local language, Bishop Misago said that it "is quite natural for Our Lady to speak in the local language. In France she would speak French, in England English, because Mary is close to all peoples of all cultures."

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