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Rwandan bishops reject report's accusation of church complicity in genocide


Rwanda's Catholic bishops have criticised a government report that lays fresh blame on the Catholic Church for complicity in the nation's 1994 genocide.

"There are deplorable and painful errors in the report, as serious and grave accusations are made that have no basis in factual truth," the bishops wrote in a letter dated 26 July.

"The report was compiled in haste and was distributed widely and recklessly for who knows what reason," they said.

The 21 August edition of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano translated and published the letter, which was signed by the head of the Rwandan bishops' conference, Archbishop Thaddee Ntihinyurwa of Kigali, and bishops from Rwanda's eight other dioceses.

The bishops said their letter was addressed to the report's authors with the aim of highlighting "some mistakes in need of correction." Rwanda's Parliament set up a special commission in January 2004 to look into the massacres carried out in the southern province of Gikongoro.

The commission also identified people or organisations it said held "genocidal ideas," which are now prohibited by law in Rwanda.

SOURCE
Rwandan bishops rap report blaming church for complicity in genocide (Catholic News Service 24/8/04)

LINKS
Rwandan bishop rejects charges against Church in genocide (Catholic World News 25/8/04)
Rwandan bishops rap report blaming church for complicity in genocide (The Universe)
Fr Mark Raper SJ: Rebuilding Rwanda: ten years on (Australian Financial Review 2/4/04)
Pope calls for prayer to avoid repeat of Rwanda genocide (CathNews 30/3/04)


26 Aug 2004